Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

A plan to stop cholera’s spread : Professor proposes antibiotics for relief workers to prevent outbreaks

Alvin Powell, Harvard Gazette October 23, 2012 Rose Lincoln/Harvard Staff Photographer “The most likely conclusion is cholera was introduced in Haiti by a human,” said John Mekalanos, Lehman Professor of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, in a talk called “River Monster: The Epidemiology, Ecology, and Pathobiology of Cholera.” Haiti had been cholera-free for 100 years before the devastating earthquake struck near Port-au-Prince in January 2010. A Harvard medical specialist suggested Monday that relief workers and peacekeepers from cholera-endemic countries should be treated with antibiotics before they serve in other nations, to avoid repeating the Haitian epidemic that has killed thousands. Haiti had been cholera-free for 100 years before the devastating earthquake struck near Port-au-Prince in January 2010. The disaster brought relief workers and United Nations’ peacekeepers from around the world. The cholera epidemic began 10 months after the quake, with the bacterium […]

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