This supports the accusations by Haitians that the cholera affecting the country came from United Nations troops stationed there. There is evidence that the UN Troops, or the contractors hired to handle their waste have been dumping it in unsafe locations – in the case of the initial outbreak, adjacent to the Arbonite River. It is also possible that one of the AID workers from that region is the source of the disease – but, in order for it to have infected the general population requires some connection between waste handling and human contact.
The dirty secret is that there is little love lost between Haitians and the United Nations Troops, so it isn’t surprising the UN Troops would be the first to get the blame.
The question now is, how is the disease spreading throughout the country so fast? There isn’t a significant amount of mobility by Haitians who live in the camps. Travel in Haiti is difficult, sometimes taking 4 or more hours to cover just a few miles. Cholera has infected at least 100,000 people in Haiti over the past seven weeks and killed more than 2,100. But that’s only a fraction of what health officials predict in coming months. It has shown up in isolated rural border areas between Haiti and the Dominican Republic suggesting that it has already spread to the Dominican Republic…
Sans some human vector, possibly intentional. possibly malfeasance – it is hard to see how the disease is spreading so rapidly all over the country.
Study Finds Haitian Cholera Strain Resembles One From South Asia, Carries Mutation That Increases Severity
“Detailed genetic tests confirm that the cholera strain that has killed more than 2,000 people in Haiti came from South Asia and most closely resembles a strain circulating in Bangladesh,” according to a study published Thursday in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), Reuters reports (12/9).
According to the research, “the South Asian cholera bacteria strain was probably introduced into Haiti by an infected human, contaminated food or another item brought to the island country after January’s devastating earthquake,” the Canadian Press/CTV News writes.
“Our evidence is extremely strong, based on the full genome sequence of two Haitian isolates as well as isolates from Latin America and South Asia,” said Matthew Waldor, the study’s lead researcher and an infectious disease specialist at Harvard Medical School. “There is almost sequence identity between the Haitian isolate and the isolate we sequenced from South Asia,” he said. “This is distinct from Latin America, and together those data suggest that this strain then didn’t wash up from the shores of Central or South America onto the shores of Haiti through some environmental event, but instead was transported most likely by a human from a South Asian nation to Haiti,” Waldor noted (12/9)…
They also found that this strain of Vibrio cholera produces a toxin that’s genetically identical to the toxin produced by an especially lethal strain of cholera that popped up in India four or five years ago.
That explains why the Haitian bug can kill so fast, says Dr. Matthew Waldor of Brigham and Women’s Hospital, who led the research.