Health officials have announced that there was a decrease in cholera cases reported in 2017 as compared with previous years. According to the Ministry of Health and Population, 12,800 cholera cases, including 146 deaths, were confirmed in 2017, down from 41,421 cases (447 deaths) in 2016. The most affected states were Artibonite and Nord-Est.
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.
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 some 9500 deaths.
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.