New Haiti cholera cases halved: UN

23rd September 2011, Comments 0 comments

The number of new cholera cases in Haiti has halved in the past two months but an upcoming rainy season may lead to a resurgence, the UN's humanitarian office said Friday.

"There were 20,093 new cholera cases in August compared to 40,873 in July," Elisabeth Byrs, spokeswoman for the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, said.

"But the situation remains fragile ... With the rainy season about to start, there could be a resurgence" of cases, she added.

A spokesman for the World Health Organisation said that although it was unclear what was responsible for the decrease, improvements in sanitary conditions could be the cause.

Cholera is rare in Haiti -- an outbreak in 2010 was the first in more than a century -- and came as a surprise to country health officials.

In a statement, OCHA added that if current trends continued, the number of new cholera cases is expected to reach 75,000 in 2011.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in June UN peacekeepers from Nepal brought the strain of cholera to Haiti responsible for an epidemic that has killed more than 5,000 people.

© 2011 AFP

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