MONDAY, JUNE 18, 2018

Heavy rain and flooding could exacerbate Haiti's cholera epidemic

Days of heavy rain and flooding have contributed to a resurgence of cholera in Haiti recently.

The French humanitarian organization Medecins du Monde called the health situation critical in areas affected by flooding, according to The organization warned that if resources are not mobilized immediately, conditions would be favorable for the cholera outbreak to spread.

The current cholera outbreak in the densely populated areas on the outskirts of the capital city of Port-au-Prince is reportedly worse than last autumn, when the epidemic began, reports.

According to the Pan-American Health Organization, 2,600 people are being infected every week, twice as many cases as reported last November.

Despite international commitments and announcements by Haiti’s Public Health Ministry, no national vaccination campaign has been carried through. Forecasts for the remainder of June call for more precipitation, increasing the risk of further infection.

"The Red Cross has been scaling up our cholera prevention work for many months in preparation for the rains, which we know bring increased risk," Gerhard Tauscher, the Red Cross cholera operation coordinator, said, according to "We have further stocks of medical equipment in country, ready to be released should cases continue to rise."

Cholera has killed approximately 5,400 people in Haiti out of the nearly 325,000 cases that have been reported since the epidemic began last October.