SUNDAY, JUNE 24, 2018

Haiti cholera outbreak yet to peak, WHO reports

The World Health Organization has warned that the cholera outbreak in Haiti that has resulted in 3,651 deaths has yet to peak.

"We think that the peak has not been reached," Fadela Chaib, a WHO spokeswoman, told Yahoo!Health. "The peak has not been reached because it would require the mortality rate to drop to less than one percent from 2.2 percent at the moment. That would take several weeks.

"There will be certainly many more cases of cholera in Haiti, it's certain. But what is sure is that fewer people will die."

Chaib told Yahoo!Health that the mortality rate during the current outbreak has already dropped from nine percent but that, in certain rural areas, over 100 new cases are being detected per day.

To combat the outbreak, the U.N. has trained over 500 health experts to deal with cholera.

"We are continuing to mobilize experts to the most affected zones," Chaib said, adding that there are still "very significant challenges" facing the impoverished nation.

The cholera outbreak began in October 2010, leading to anti-U.N. riots in November as Haitians placed the blame for the epidemic on Nepalese peacekeepers.

The U.N. recently called the response to the epidemic "shameful," noting that only 20 percent of the funds it needs to combat the cholera had be received as of December.