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Cholera epidemic reaches Haiti capital

world Updated: Oct 24, 2010 13:55 IST

AFP
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An epidemic of cholera that has ravaged northern and central Haiti has reached the country's densely populated capital, according to UN officials.

The Pan American Health Organization said in a statement late on Saturday that the Haitian Public Health Ministry's "national reference laboratory today confirmed cases in Ouest Department, including Port-au-Prince."

No specific number of cholera cases in Port-au-Prince was given.

The sudden cholera epidemic has in recent days killed 220 people, mainly in northern Haiti, and sent officials scrambling to contain a wider outbreak 10 months after an earthquake devastated the Caribbean nation.

Hundreds of thousands of people are still living in impoverished tent cities, particularly around Port-au-Prince, where sanitation is poor and where relief groups say the diarrhea-causing illness could spread rapidly.