23 October 2012

UN Panel Expert Changes Mind on Haiti Cholera Source

Cholera specialist, Dr Daniele Lantagne, is the latest to point out that the evidence regarding Haiti's cholera outbreak points towards the UN peacekeepers from Nepal. "The most likely source of the introduction of cholera into Haiti was someone infected with the Nepal strain of cholera and associated with the United Nations Mirabalais camp." said Dr Latagne to the BBC.

The evidence itself is not new, rather it is the change of view from Dr Latagne that is getting the attention. She was a part of the UN panel of experts who came back with murky results regarding the cause of the cholera outbreak. There was some admission that the UN peacekeepers may have played  a role, but the final report could not put the majority of the blame on any single group.

Genome data and other evidence seems to have tipped the scale in Dr Latagne's mind. Two years since the outbreak, there is still a debate over the source of what some believe is the first ever cholera outbreak in Haiti. 

There have been nearly 600,000 cases of cholera and 7,585 deaths since the onset of the outbreak.The number of cases and the fatality rate are on a steady decline, but cholera continues to be a problem with just over 6,000 cases reported per month.