'The real fear is the devastation' - Hurricane Matthew spreads cholera in Haiti
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Haiti has received one million cholera vaccines to help stop the epidemic spreading through the region at an alarming pace.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The World Health Organization (WHO) is also sending staff to help Haitians and three other countries affected by the deadly hurricane.
In its wake, at least 1,000 Haitians have been reported dead, 200,000 have been forced to flee their homes and over a million are in desperate need of more aid.
Survivors struggle to find clean food and water, 1.4 million are desperate for help and a mass cholera outbreak has left even more dead.
According to CBS, Alfred Casimir, the director of Community Health at Haitian Health Foundation, explained: "The biggest urgency right now for this hospital and this community is clean water.
"The real fear is that the devastation of Hurricane Matthew will be felt for days and perhaps weeks to come if there is an epidemic of cholera breaks out here.
The US has sent 140,000 pounds of food and US Rear Admiral Cedric Pringle explained: "These are the types of events that you can tell your grandkids about, and be proud about the fact that you've made a difference in a positive way."
WHO cholera expert Dominique Legros told reporters in Geneva the flooding following Hurricane Matthew created a risk of "potential contamination of the drinking water by fecal sludge," leading to the "risk of further increase of cholera cases, particularly at that time of year where over the last few years we have observed that there is an unusual increase in cases reported between November and January."
Cholera is an infection of the intestines often spread through food or water contaminated by feces. The CDC explained symptoms include watery diarrhea, vomiting and leg cramps. In some cases, people experience the rapid loss of bodily fluids, leading to extreme dehydration and shock. Without treatment, death can occur within hours.
WHO explained the last cholera outbreak in Haiti killed at least 10,000 people but sickened hundreds more.
The US military erected several medical tents and have attempted to help but more and more cases continue to crop up.
Haiti's interim President Jocelerme Privert told CNN: "A lot of effort has been made to avoid the spread of the epidemic. But the hurricane has accelerated it. The top priority for those people affected by the hurricane is to give them access to safe water, that is the only way we can control cholera in the long term in Haiti."
Please pray for Haiti, that God send healing, miracles and restoration.
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