The cholera epidemic in Haiti (see my blog of Nov 12) is spreading even quicker than was feared. So far more than 1,400 people have died, and the UN’s co-ordinator for humanitarian relief, Nigel Fisher, is expecting to see 200,000 cases. He has called on aid agencies to send more medical staff.
As this is the first time the disease has struck Haiti in a century, there appears to be little natural immunity around. Last week, there were riots against UN peacekeepers from Nepal who were accused by some Haitians of having introduced cholera to the country. The UN says there is no evidence to support this accusation.
The first global cholera pandemic began in 1817 in India, and swept through much of Asia and East Africa over the next six years. The second started in Russia in 1830, reaching most of Europe before crossing the Atlantic to infect North and Central America. However, the disease may have been present in India as early as the fourth century BC.
*Here's a new article I’ve written on the worst disasters ever to afflict London.
For Spanish readers – an article about me:-http://www.elmostrador.cl/opinion/2010/11/21/el-aporte-de-la-cronica/#print-normal