Haiti cholera death toll rises
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The death toll in Haiti’s cholera outbreak was approaching 200 on Saturday, according to reports, with officials warning that it is the most dangerous strain of the disease. Canada has promised a major aid donation and aid agencies are rushing medicine to the country.
Nearly 200 people were confirmed dead and more than 2,000 others are infected, according to Al Jazeera television, which says that cases are now reported outside the rural Artibonite region, where it was first reported.
The strain is the 01 strain, “the most dangerous type”, according to Health Minister Alex Larsen. Contaminated river water was the probable source of the bacteria, he said.
The Canadian government has announced aid of 700,000 euros, while Spain has offered 100,000 euros. Aid agencies are sending 300,000 euros and 10,000 boxes of water purification tablets.
The outbreak was first reported around the northern city of Saint Marc, far from the camps holding hundreds of thousands of people displaced by this year’s earthquake. The country is on “maximum alert” to try and prevent it spreading, Larsen said.
The neighbouring Dominican Republic says that it is stepping up surveillance in the light of the outbreak.
Haiti has had no cases of cholera for over a century.
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