Haiti official: Cholera outbreak is stabilizing

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Aid groups also began training more staff about cholera and where to direct people with symptoms. The disease had not been seen in Haiti for decades, and many people don’t know about it.

Members of one grassroots Haitian organization traveled around Port-au-Prince’s camps booming warnings about cholera from speakers in the bed of a pickup truck.

“Many people have become sick,” announced Etant Dupain, in front of the Champs de Mars camp by Haiti’s broken national palace. “If you have a family member that has diarrhea, bring them to the hospital immediately. Have them use separate latrines.”

In a promising development, aid group Partners in Health said hospital management was improving in the city at the center of the initial outbreak, St. Marc, which is about a 60-mile (95-kilometer) drive northwest of Haiti. Just 300 patients were hospitalized on Saturday, a number that has decreased by the end of each day.

A cholera treatment center in St. Marc is expected to be functional within the week, and efforts were ongoing to make clean water available in rural communities, especially those where rivers were the only source of water.

Some health experts were hopeful that they will be able to control the outbreak of cholera in impoverished Haiti.

“In a way, it couldn’t have happened at a better moment than now because everyone is on the field _ lots of (non-governmental organizations), lots of money. We haven’t had any hurricanes so far this fall but people are here, and people are prepared,” said Marc Paquette, Haiti director for the Canadian branch of Medecins du Monde.

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Associated Press writers Mike Melia and David McFadden in San Juan, Puerto Rico, contributed to this report.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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