Haiti Cholera Outbreak Appears to be Easing

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The cholera outbreak in Haiti could be stabilizing.

Health workers say it looks like emergency prevention efforts may be paying off. There were only six cholera related deaths on Monday.

"The worst part is over, but you can always have a new spike of cholera," Health Ministry Director Gabriel Timothee said.

Officials have been worried the outbreak could spread, eventually reaching the island's capital of Port-au-Prince and the refugee camps that are housing earthquake survivors.

At least 259 people have died since early last week and more than 3,300 have fallen ill, but no cases had been confirmed as originating in the crowded capital. Five patients were diagnosed with cholera in Port-au-Prince over the weekend, but officials said they got sick elsewhere.

"I'm afraid because the water we're drinking here is not treated properly. Any time I drink the water it makes my stomach sick," said Joseph Sidsen Guerry, 20, who lives in the small Jeremie camp in central Port-au-Prince.

Operation Blessing International, a charity aid organization based in Virginia Beach, Va., is a part of the round-the-clock efforts to keep the cholera from spreading.

"Everyone is very desperate to get water because they haven't had anything to drink in a long time. They know now not to drink from the canal because that's what's making them sick," said David Derg, OBI's director of international disaster relief and special projects.

"So they're all desperate to drink from the system we put in, and there are literally thousands of people in the surrounding area that are starting to come that will benefit from having clean drinking water thanks to Operation Blessing. The word's getting out that this system is here," he added.

Find out how you can help Operation Blessing International provide clean water for the people of Haiti. 

Operation Blessing International, along with the group Partners in Health, have made thousands of gallons of clean water available to Haitians.

Haiti, which had not suffered a cholera outbreak in at least 50 years, is the latest developing country to be afflicted by the disease that sickens an estimated 3 million to 5 million people a year and kills 100,000.

Cholera causes such severe vomiting and diarrhea that within hours it can kill a person by dehydration.

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