Global Politics

Tracking Down Haiti's First Cholera Case

This story is a part of

Human Needs

This story is a part of

Human Needs

British-Red-Cross-Haiti-Cholera.jpg

British Red Cross and Haitian Red Cross volunteers went from home to home in La Piste camp, Haiti, advising residents on how to prevent cholera. (Photo: British Red Cross)

Two Boston-based doctors think they've identified the first Haitian who caught cholera and then spread the disease to others after an earthquake hit the island two years ago this week.

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Cholera has taken the lives of some 7,000 Haitians and sickened about a half million more.

Several studies now show that UN peacekeepers from Nepal likely introduced cholera to the island inadvertently when they were in Haiti following the earthquake.

The details of what are thought to be the first case are in a new study (PDF) Dr. Louise Ivers has co-authored with David Walton.

It was published Tuesday in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

Dr. Louise Ivers works with Boston's Brigham and Women's Hospital, and with the aid group Partners In Health.