Rainy Season Brings More Cholera to Haiti

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Since the cholera epidemic began last October in Haiti, more than 5,800 people have died, according to the Haitian government. Many say the number is closer to 6,000 because of those who never make it to a clinic or hospital for treatment.

With the advent of the rainy season in June, the Health Ministry recorded nearly 1,000 new cases daily, The Los Angeles Times reported.

Haiti does not have a proper sewage system in place, allowing the bacteria that cause the disease to multiply rapidly in the contaminated water.

Medical personnel at the nation's clinics are hard pressed to keep up with the epidemic. One doctor and five nurses from Massachusetts General Hospital arrived in Haiti on July 17 to pitch in at the Hospital Albert Schweitzer in central Haiti, Boston.com reported.

According to a report by the Boston-based Partners in Health, which has worked in Haiti for decades, some 15,000 cholera patients were treated at the clinics it operates during June.

Dr. Marjorie Curran said patients are "mostly coming from the mountains," not an easy journey.

Curran said the situation is slightly better than it was in October because people know the symptoms of the disease and try to get treatment before its too late.

"Properly treated," cholera has a very low mortality rate," she said.

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