- California bans full-contact football practices in off-season
- Thune: Downed fighter jets show more evidence of separatist capabilities
- Obama tells DNC fundraising crowd: ‘I’m not overly partisan’
- Chambliss: Downed jet ultimately goes back to Putin
- Perdue strategy: Run against Reid, Obama, Pelosi
- White House: More changes to contraception mandate coming
- ‘Operation Normandy’ set to send 3,500 volunteers to border to ‘stop an invasion’
- Netanyahu’s spokesman: Safe to fly to Israel
- Oregon vandals smear cars with doughnuts, pastries, chocolate bars
- Obama’s ‘Katrina moment’ leaves his favorability factor at 42 percent
Cholera puts capital of Haiti on crisis status
Physicians predict surge of new cases
Question of the Day
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti | Doctors and aid groups were rushing to set up cholera treatment centers across Haiti's capital as officials warn that the disease's spread into the overcrowded city will bring a surge in cases.
Hundreds of people already were suspected of having cholera, showing the disease's symptoms of fever and diarrhea while lying in hospital beds or inside shacks lining the putrid waste canals of Cite Soleil, Martissant and other slums.
"We expect transmission to be extensive and we have to be prepared for it, there's no question," Dr. Jon K. Andrus, deputy director of the Pan-American Health Organization, told reporters this week. "We have to prepare for a large upsurge in numbers of cases and be prepared with supplies and human resources and everything that goes into a rapid response."
Following Monday's confirmation that a 3-year-old boy from a tent camp near Cite Soleil had contracted cholera before Oct. 31 without leaving the capital, the organization said the epidemic's spread from river towns in the countryside to the nation's primary urban center was a dangerous development.
Two more capital-originated cases were confirmed Tuesday at the same hospital where the boy was treated.
Physicians with the aid group Doctors Without Borders reported seeing at least 200 city residents with severe symptoms at their facilities alone over the past three days.
More than 70 other cholera cases had been confirmed among people living in Port-au-Prince, but those became infected while outside the capital.
Damage to Port-au-Prince's already miserable pre-earthquake sanitation and drinking water systems make the city "ripe for the rapid spread of cholera," Dr. Andrus said.
Port-au-Prince is estimated to be home to between 2.5 million and 3 million people, about half of whom have been living in homeless encampments since the Jan. 12 earthquake ravaged the capital.
A confirmed case of cholera had never been seen in this Caribbean country before last month, when it suddenly killed several dozen people and spread across the agricultural heartland of the Artibonite Valley.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that the strain is most similar to those found in South Asia, but no formal investigations have been done to learn how the disease arrived in Haiti.
It has killed at least 580 people and hospitalized 9,500, with confirmed cases across the entire northern two-thirds of the country. Dozens of cases are rumored throughout the south.
On Tuesday, Haiti's health ministry said the disease had become a threat to the entire nation of 10 million people.
"Now it is our duty as citizens to help solve this problem, which has gone from being an urgent humanitarian matter and gone to the level of national security," the ministry's executive director, Dr. Gabriel Timothee, said during a televised news conference.
TWT Video Picks
Retailer pays a price for getting too close to Obama
- CARSON: Costco and the perils of mixing politics and business
- Two Ukrainian fighter jets shot down
- David Perdue defeats Jack Kingston in Georgia Republican Senate primary runoff
- HURT: The cost of 'free' water in Detroit
- Beretta moving to Tennessee over Maryland gun laws
- Obama orders Pentagon advisers to Ukraine
- IRS seeks help destroying another 3,200 computer hard drives
- D.C. appeals panel deals big blow to Obamacare subsidies
- DEACE: How to go from civil rights icon to bigot in one quote
- House task force to recommend National Guard on border, faster deportations
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq