Added by James Morley on October 21, 2010
Haiti Health Department Director General Dr. Gabriel Thimote said that, as of Wednesday, 49 people have died and 450 other hospitalized due to an outbreak of acute diarrhea.
Haiti Health Department officials said that many of the 49 people fell victim to the dehydration associated with diarrhea as they tried to reach a hospital.
On Thursday, international medical teams were on site to respond to the outbreak, as the death toll climbed to 50 people.
The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) declared that it is cooperating with Haitian authorities to end what is considered to be one of the worst health threats to hit Haiti since the January 12 earthquake.
“It’s the severity of the outbreak that preoccupies us, and then the unconfirmed but reported high number of dead … all of that is being investigated”, said Dr. Michel Thieren of the PAHO.
Patients have been so far overwhelming hospitals located in the Artibonite and Central Plateau regions of Port-au-Prince, capital of Haiti.
The January earthquake left many of Port-au-Prince’s residents homeless and forced to live in tents, fact which led health experts to view the capital as a potential breeding ground for epidemics. However, due to continuous international aid, no epidemics have spread in and around the capital, thus no reports of diarrhea outbreaks have come in from the zone.
The most affected zones were Douin, Marchand Dessalines, Saint-Marc and the Artibonite region.