Current Situation:The Ministry of Health reports that, as of February 14, 2011, there were 234,303 cases and 4,533 deaths due to cholera. The current national incidence rate is 1.6 %. Epidemiological reports continue to show a decline in new cases. This trend is supported by the Ministry of Health data, as well as by reports from other major health actors. In some places, there are reports of a rise in the mortality rate. This is being followed closely to see if it is poor reporting of data, or if there are improvements to be made in the management of cholera cases in particular places.
With Carnival season underway, there are some increased risks of cholera transmission. The risk is not from human-to-human contact, but rather from ingestion of contaminated food or water. Where people assemble for Carnival celebrations, there will be food stalls and drink vendors. The population will also need access to latrines and hand washing facilities. A good quality control of these facilities will minimize the chances of transmission.
Outlook: While the cholera epidemic has slowed, there is awareness among Plan staff and cholera experts that it could resume its strength again after the rainy season starts. Therefore it is important to keep up the hygiene awareness campaigns and water and sanitation activities to prevent future outbreaks. It's impossible to predict exactly how cholera will progress, but the consensus among experts is that cholera will never completely recede from Haiti.
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