While the risk of contracting cholera (and other food- and water-borne diseases) remains high in Haiti, transmission rates of the disease continue to fall as of early 2018. According to official figures released in late March, a total of 725 suspected cholera cases were reported nationwide between January 1 and March 3. In the month of February, 249 cases (including one fatality) were reported, down 81 percent (and 92 percent) from February 2017 numbers.
Haiti has been battling a major cholera epidemic since October 2010, with spikes in cases regularly reported following flooding, which helps spread the bacteria. More than 800,000 cases have been reported since the beginning of the epidemic, including more than 10,000 deaths.
Cholera, an infectious disease caused by the Vibrio cholerae bacterium. Cholera is typically spread via infected water supplies and induces acute diarrhea leading to severe dehydration, frequently resulting in death. The risk of death is greatest among people with compromised immune systems, such as malnourished children or those living with HIV. However, even among healthy adults, cholera can be fatal within a matter of hours.
To reduce the risk of contracting cholera, wash hands regularly, drink only bottled or purified water, and avoid eating raw or undercooked foods. Individuals who believe they may have contracted cholera should seek immediate medical attention.
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