Tropical Storm Isaac increases cholera cases in Haiti
The U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said on Saturday that during the week prior to the storm, the country experienced an average of 78 new cases of cholera per day. Between August 24 and August 29, when the storm struck, there were 180 new cases per day on average, Associated Press reports.
The increase in the number of cases followed a decrease from July to August. In late July, there were 241 new cholera cases per day, which dropped to 115 per day in August.
Since cholera was introduced to Haiti in October 2010, purportedly by a unit of U.N. peacekeepers from Nepal, the disease has infected more than 588,000 people and killed 7,500 others, according to Associated Press.
Cholera is a waterborne disease that spreads through contaminated feces and water. It causes rapid dehydration and, while it is easily treatable, Haiti lacks the infrastructure to get people proper treatment in time.
Tropical Storm Isaac killed at least 24 people in Haiti with three others missing. The storm also damaged more than 80 percent of crops in 10 departments and killed more than 2,000 head of cattle.