Cholera Outbreak in Haiti

Via the BBC:  Scores die in Haiti cholera outbreak

At least 196 people have died and 2,634 have been hospitalised by the illness, which causes diarrhoea, acute fever, vomiting and severe dehydration.


Local hospitals were "overwhelmed", and a number of people were being evacuated to clinics in other areas, he added.

At one point on Thursday, hundreds of people were laid out in the car park of St Nicholas hospital in Saint-Marc, with intravenous drips in their arms to treat dehydration, until it began to rain and they were rushed inside.


This is the first time in a century that cholera has struck the Caribbean nation, the World Health Organization said.

This is horrible news for Haiti.  Cholera is a dreadful diseases in which one dies as a result of the dehydrating effects of vomiting and diarrhea.  It is typically spread due to poor sanitation and is a disease that is especially associated with underdevelopment.  Worse, it is relatively easy to treat, but the countries where it typically strikes lack the ability to deal effectively with a given outbreak.

Zimbabwe had an especially horrific outbreak in 2008/2009 where tens of thousands were infected and thousands died.  See:  here, here and here.   

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Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. sam says:

    “Cholera is a dreadful diseases in which one dies as a result of the dehydrating effects of vomiting and diarrhea. ”

    And young children are most at risk from deadly effect of diarrhea, and children were the chief victims of the earthquake and its aftermath.

  2. Neil Hudelson says:

    While there are many charities and NGOs that combat cholera (and other sanitation and drinking water related diseases), I’ve personally worked with Water Missions International. They do a great job of delivering cheap, efficient, effective sanitation and water purification technologies to rural areas.

    If anyone’s interested in donating time or money….