Cholera reaches capital, Port au Prince


Aid agencies are fighting to contain the spread of cholera in Port au Prince as the authorities announce the first death in the capital from the disease. Some 115 cases have been reported so far in the city with 643 dead nationwide and just under 10,000 people being treated in hospital. 


Health authorities were warned to expect the worst if the disease spread to the capital from central Haiti. The city is still largely in ruins after the January earthquake that killed more than 250,000 people and most of the 1.3 million Haitians living in refugee camps are in tent cities around Port au Prince.

Humanitarian organisation, Medecins Sans Frontiers, says it is extremely concerned at the increase in the number of patients with cholera-like symptoms in the capital. The organisation said it was constructing an additional 320-bed facility in the city's Sarthe neighbourhood.

Hurricane Tomas, which claimed more than 20 lives in Haiti at the weekend, aggravated the situation as it dumped heavy rains that caused rivers, including the Artibonite to flood. The outbreak is thought to have started in the Artibonite River valley in central Haiti in mid-October.


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