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News in the Region: Jamaica...(Is this our true focus today???)

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti – A French disease expert says there is strong evidence linking United Nations peacekeepers to a cholera outbreak in Haiti that has killed more than 2,000 people.

Renaud Piarroux says in a report that the most likely explanation for the outbreak is that Haiti's Artibonite river was contaminated by a base of UN troops from Nepal.

The scientist conducted his research on behalf of the French and Haitian governments. The Associated Press obtained the report today.

Cholera had not been detected in Haiti until late October. Nearly 100,000 people have been infected so far. The UN has denied that its peacekeepers were to blame for the outbreak.

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Nothing like a disaster to see different perceptions of reality

At the same time that Continental Latin America, USA and many other countries of the world are taking the Epidemic as a possible risk...Cayman Island feels that they 'should be ' basically safe.

(It will be interesting to know how many Haitians are members or clients of the 'sofisticated' Cayman Island insdustries', that they feel nearly "under control?)

"While public health officials say the chances of importation of cholera into Cayman are very remote, with the cholera outbreak continuing in Haiti, a travel advisory to residents to avoid all travel to that country, unless it is essential, remains in effect. Medical Officer of Health Dr Kiran Kumar issued the warning on 27 October in the wake of the cholera outbreak in Haiti. According to World Health Organization (WHO) statistics, cholera deaths in Haiti rose from 259 in late October to 1415 by 23 November. In addition there were 25, 248 hospitalizations and 60,240 hospital visits related to cholera.

“We advise that residents travel to Haiti only when necessary. If you have to go, take vital precautions such as ensuring hygienic food preparation, boiling or purifying all water, and washing hands often with soap and clean water. Travellers should also carry an ample supply of oral rehydration salts,” said Dr Kumar. “The chances of importation of cholera into Cayman are very remote and even if it occurs, our excellent sanitation and safe water will prevent its spread. In addition, we have adequate facilities and drugs to manage any cases should importation occur.

“Nevertheless we ask anyone who have travelled to Haiti to contact their doctor immediately should they develop diarrhoea and vomiting within five days of leaving. It is also important to state their travel history to their doctor,” Dr. Kumar advised.

To ensure ultimate readiness the Public Health Department called a multi-agency preparedness meeting this week. Minister of Health Mark Scotland said, “I am pleased that the Medical Officer of Health has alerted the health professionals and issued the travel warning very early in the outbreak. As it has spread nationwide in Haiti, the whole Caribbean is on alert. As Dr Kumar has noted, the risk of importation of cholera is low. However I applaud the pro-active efforts by our public health officials and healthcare professionals as well as staff from Environmental Health and Hazard Management Cayman Islands. Together they are monitoring the cholera situation in Haiti and have also reviewed the Cayman Islands’ action plans to detect and manage any imported cholera cases.”


et al.Foundation