Haitian cholera epidemic slows

The cholera epidemic that has gripped Haiti over the last few months appears to be waning, with the number of cases dropping sharply across the country.

The news is welcome in Haiti, but there is still doubt, the Associated Press reports. It is not yet known whether the disease that has killed nearly 4,000 is fading permanently, or just taking a break until the onset of the next rainy season.

Stefano Zannini, chief of mission for the aid group Doctors Without Borders, is cautious.

"The general situation is improving. It's clear," Zannini said, the AP reports. "The problem is that the possible development of the epidemic is unpredictable. It is impossible to say whether the situation will continue stabilizing."

Regardless, any piece of good news would be welcome in Haiti, which has suffered particularly in the last year due to an earthquake and the epidemic. The country is also at the edge of a political crisis and may be poised for more of the violent protests that paralyzed cities and halted cholera treatment in December.

Zannini’s group is planning to scale back more than 40 cheolera treatment centers, but Zannini was unable to be optimistic regarding the disease, the AP reports. He did say that he happy that new cases and deaths are decreasing.

"I would not be optimistic," Zannini said, according to the AP.