Haiti, Nepal Cholera Nearly Identical

By: Caribbean Journal Staff - August 24, 2011

Above: cholera treatment in Haiti (UN Photo: Marco Dormino)

By the Caribbean Journal staff

An article released yesterday in the online medical journal mBio found that Haiti’s cholera originated in Nepal, a claim first reported in a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The earlier report named UN peacekeepers from Nepal as the source of the cholera, which has ravaged Haiti.

“Results in this study are consistent with Nepal as the origin of the Haitian outbreak,” said the article’s abstract, which was edited by David Relman of VA Palo Alto Healthcare System. “This highlights how rapidly infectious diseases might be transmitted globally through international travel and how public health officials need advanced molecular tools along with standard epidemiological analyses to quickly determine the sources of outbreaks.”

The research also found that the Haitian outbreak came from a single source.

“[This] reinforces the previous epidemiological investigation that pointed towards United Nations peacekeepers from Nepal as the source of the Haitian cholera epidemic,” the article said. ”

The article, “Nepal in 2010: Evidence on the Origin of the Haitian Outbreak,” contained work from 15 authors.

Earlier this month, Partners in Health Medical Director Dr Joia Mukherjee told Caribbean Journal the cholera scourge could last in Haiti “for decades.”

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