Cholera Outbreak Hits Haiti, Nearly 200 Dead

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Cholera Outbreak Hits Haiti, Nearly 200 Dead

Post by stickle » Sat Oct 23, 2010 3:37 pm

http://www.foxnews.com/health/2010/10/2 ... test=faces" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Here is another reason to take water treatment seriously. If this gets in the city thousands could die.

Incredible!

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Re: Cholera Outbreak Hits Haiti, Nearly 200 Dead

Post by kevthemed » Sat Oct 23, 2010 3:48 pm

Apparently, they couldn't give a rats ass about the 'boil your water' orders. Or washing their hands. I guess shipping them FREE bottled water is what they are expecting to keep happening from us. Instead of teaching them sanitation practices, which is cheaper by a long shot anyway. Typhoid will be next in line.. My .04 worth of rant is done.....for now.....mwaaa haaa haaaa haaaa.... 8)
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Re: Cholera Outbreak Hits Haiti, Nearly 200 Dead

Post by andygates » Sat Oct 23, 2010 4:18 pm

Yup they're just willfully pooping on each other for the lulz, secure in the knowledge that you'll pick up the tab. :roll:
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Cholera Outbreak Hits Haiti, Nearly 200 Dead

Post by doctor_ocks » Sat Oct 23, 2010 4:29 pm

andygates wrote:Yup they're just willfully pooping on each other for the lulz, secure in the knowledge that you'll pick up the tab. :roll:
I don't think that's what he's saying and he does have a point. It's always an argument any time America, or any other developed country, comes to the rescue...and a valid one.

A sad story though.
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Re: Cholera Outbreak Hits Haiti, Nearly 200 Dead

Post by Ashnack » Sun Oct 24, 2010 1:50 pm

One one hand i say to myself this country cant seem to catch a break, but then on the other i want to slap some of them around and say take some responsability for yourselves.

Boiling water aint rocket science.
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Re: Cholera Outbreak Hits Haiti, Nearly 200 Dead

Post by squinty » Sun Oct 24, 2010 2:17 pm

Some of you guys sound awfully smug.
Boiling water and handwashing may not be rocket science, but they might be be harder to do than you guys imagine for a homeless person crammed into a squalid refugee camp without running water or sanitation. And what's obvious to people in the first world, with access to first world education and information, isn't always obvious to the very poor.

And if you think handwashing is the easy super panacea you think it is, check out a long stay hospital ward, like a med/surg floor or surgical ICU. Theoretically, simple handwashing should keep the spread of MRSA and other hospital acquired infections in check. It doesn't. The stuff spreads from patient to patient. That's in a modern hospital with trained staff, sinks and hand sanitizer, and protective barriers like latex gloves and impervious gowns. Not a "squalid refugee camp."

The last big snow we had in my AO the emergency rooms filled up with patients suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning, because they burned charcoal indoors or used kerosene heaters inside or parked a generator too close to their trailer. What did they all have in common? Poor and uneducated (a lot of latino migrant workers showed up with CO poisoning that winter.) And predictably, people kept saying "how could they be so stupid?" as though a migrant worker with a third grade education was likely to know what carbon monoxide was. (Some of the same nurses that complained about the "stupidity" of the CO poisoning victims kept looking at pulse oximeter readings for those patients, seeing a %100 O2 saturation level, and discontinuing the patient's oxygen.) The people saying that, of course, all came from middle or upper class backgrounds, had an educational level that would include some science classes, and incomes that just about guaranteed that they'd never be faced with the propsect of freezing to death in their homes, unlike those "stupid" patients.

The article even states, explicitly, that Haitians by and large aren't familiar with cholera, and the big challenge aid workers face is getting the word out about prevention.

Every time there's a natural disaster in the world, some asshole in America sits around flapping his mouth about how it's all because of those lazy peoples' irresponsibility. Especially in the "prepping" community. As if the consequences of a natural disaster could just be shrugged off by even the best prepped. Stupid stupid Haitians. Letting an earthquake destroy their infrastructure.

I'm not saying Haiti is a well run or well governed country, but come on. Why do we always have to pass judgment on the victims of natural disasters?
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Re: Cholera Outbreak Hits Haiti, Nearly 200 Dead

Post by squinty » Sun Oct 24, 2010 2:21 pm

doctor_ocks wrote:
andygates wrote:Yup they're just willfully pooping on each other for the lulz, secure in the knowledge that you'll pick up the tab. :roll:
I don't think that's what he's saying and he does have a point. It's always an argument any time America, or any other developed country, comes to the rescue...and a valid one.

A sad story though.
I have to disagree. I think that is what he's saying. You're right that it always comes up every time the US sends aid to another country, but I don't think it's a valid point at all.
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Re: Cholera Outbreak Hits Haiti, Nearly 200 Dead

Post by hangfire » Sun Oct 24, 2010 2:31 pm

kevthemed wrote:Apparently, they couldn't give a rats ass about the 'boil your water' orders. Or washing their hands. I guess shipping them FREE bottled water is what they are expecting to keep happening from us. Instead of teaching them sanitation practices, which is cheaper by a long shot anyway. Typhoid will be next in line..
From an aid worker (International Rescue Committee) in a Fox News article today:

"We can provide soap, and we can provide chlorine. The thing is to get the community to participate,"

God knows I'm sympathetic to the fact that these people are suffering. How can you not be (it's a really lousy way to go)? That said, the country's an absolute foreign-aid sinkhole. You've really got to ask yourself at what point do we hold them responsible for the outcome of really shitty decision making?
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Re: Cholera Outbreak Hits Haiti, Nearly 200 Dead

Post by squinty » Sun Oct 24, 2010 2:39 pm

hangfire wrote:
kevthemed wrote:Apparently, they couldn't give a rats ass about the 'boil your water' orders. Or washing their hands. I guess shipping them FREE bottled water is what they are expecting to keep happening from us. Instead of teaching them sanitation practices, which is cheaper by a long shot anyway. Typhoid will be next in line..
From an aid worker (International Rescue Committee) in a Fox News article today:

"We can provide soap, and we can provide chlorine. The thing is to get the community to participate,"

God knows I'm sympathetic to the fact that these people are suffering. How can you not be (it's a really lousy way to go)? That said, the country's an absolute foreign-aid sinkhole. You've really got to ask yourself at what point do we hold them responsible for the outcome of really shitty decision making?
Yeah. Like having an earthquake. Really shitty decision.
I understand not wanting to sink foreign aid into other countries, while the US runs a deficit. If someone's opposed to sending aid, that's fine there are good reasons to argue against it. But blaming the victims isn't one of them.

It's not as if Haitians are gobbling tainted water on purpose because they want freaking cholera. The barrier to community participation is ignorance and lack of facilities, not some inherent defect in the character of Haitians. Getting the community to participate seems like an educational task, not a motivational one:
Cholera had not been seen in Haiti for decades, and many people don't know about the disease, which causes severe diarrhea and vomiting that can lead to dehydration and death within hours.

Red Cross spokeswoman Julie Sell said teams would begin teaching people in refugee camps how to prevent cholera starting Monday -- five days after the outbreak.

"We are taking this very seriously, but we also want to make sure that every one of our people have the information they need," she said.

The International Organization for Migration also was training staff before sending 64 workers out to camps Monday, spokeswoman Sabina Carlson said. But she said the group had begun sending text messages about how cholera spreads and how it can be prevented.

"It's a very new disease in Haiti," she said. "We need to make sure that we've got all the information in order."
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Re: Cholera Outbreak Hits Haiti, Nearly 200 Dead

Post by hangfire » Sun Oct 24, 2010 2:49 pm

squinty wrote:
I'm not saying Haiti is a well run or well governed country, but come on. Why do we always have to pass judgment on the victims of natural disasters?

As a rule, Americans don't "always have to pass judgement on the victims of natural disasters". Many have rightfully grown tired of being told they have an unending obligation to shell out a lot of resources to help third world nations that WON'T (and no, at this point, CAN'T doesn't apply) help themselves. The earthquake that resulted in those refugee camps (and killed approximately 200,000) was so incredibly destructive in part because of: a) a lack of building codes or b) a near-total lack of code enforcement where said codes did exist. Which is to say, Haiti is your typical corrupt third-world rathole. The Chilean quake was approximately FIVE HUNDRED times stronger. Number of deaths: 795. Why? Chile expends ITS OWN resources to prepare for quakes. Not unlike California.

I've damn-near given up on trying to find out just how much money's been poured into Haiti in the past decade (both in direct aid and in money expended in sending both U.S. military and civilian assets), but it appears to have been totally wasted.

Please don't take my word for it, read this: http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Global-N ... in-numbers" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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Re: Cholera Outbreak Hits Haiti, Nearly 200 Dead

Post by hangfire » Sun Oct 24, 2010 2:55 pm

squinty wrote: Getting the community to participate seems like an educational task, not a motivational one:
Not to hack on this too much, but I just got back from an overseas tour. In the Caribbean. As a medic. And I would submit to you that it IS a motivational problem.
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Re: Cholera Outbreak Hits Haiti, Nearly 200 Dead

Post by shrapnel » Sun Oct 24, 2010 3:04 pm

Take the argument to PM, please. Semi-political bickering is just going to muck up an otherwise potentially interesting and very serious thread.
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Re: Cholera Outbreak Hits Haiti, Nearly 200 Dead

Post by hangfire » Sun Oct 24, 2010 4:12 pm

Duly chastised.
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Cholera outbreak in Haiti 'stabilising'

Post by squinty » Mon Oct 25, 2010 11:29 am

Cholera outbreak in Haiti 'stabilising'
Haitian officials said more households were following advice on drinking clean water and taking care with personal hygiene.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-11617094" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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Re: Cholera Outbreak Hits Haiti, Nearly 200 Dead

Post by Tonto » Mon Oct 25, 2010 12:28 pm

This just hits home the need to do your best to have means to make clean water and utilize proper sanitation during a disaster. Even if it's just you and your family and the rest of the neighborhood is crapping on their street gutter - the only one you can depend on is yourself. This also include knowing how and means to treat Cholera, dysentery and general hygiene practices.

SO, with that in mind what methods do you have planned to keep this from happening to you or your family. (or would this be better in a different thread??) I have found numerous posts on different prep sites that have people claiming they're not going to wash, they're not going to do this or that or just dig a hole in their backyard to dump their wastes.
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Re: Cholera Outbreak Hits Haiti, Nearly 200 Dead

Post by andygates » Mon Oct 25, 2010 12:38 pm

Clean running water, good drainage, soap, education. It's not a lot until the SHTF. Plenty of Haiti had open street sewers before the quake, and those right there will score you dirty water and bad drainage. Mmm, tastes like... poop.

Good article up on Boing Boing with eyewitness reports and delicious poopy linkage. http://www.boingboing.net/2010/10/25/ch ... i-thi.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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Re: Cholera Outbreak Hits Haiti, Nearly 200 Dead

Post by Sealegs » Mon Oct 25, 2010 1:19 pm

Texbook example of why LifeStraw and LifeSaver bottles and portable filters and purifiers
is the future while shipping palls of water as long as the media is looking is not.

Lasts longer than the media coverage and you can fly other shit in on the same planes, like, you know, meds,
solar plants and other crap that you might want.

When I think of all the kids, disabled and old folks (the ones that will suffer the worst) this makes me rage so hard.
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Re: Cholera Outbreak Hits Haiti, Nearly 200 Dead

Post by Valarius » Mon Oct 25, 2010 1:53 pm

http://www.bigberkey-cart.com/ProductDe ... e=BL4X4-CF" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Image
The Berkey Light™ Filtration System provides reliable, user friendly, powerful yet economical water filtration. Each system comes complete with a base and four 9" super sterasyl™ ceramic filtration elements.

The Berkey Light™ system is designed for everyday use as well as for use during travel, outdoor activities and during unexpected emergencies. This powerful system filters both treated water and untreated raw water from such sources as remote lakes, streams, stagnant ponds and water supplies in foreign countries, where regulations may be substandard at best. Perfect for outdoor activities and a must in hostile environments where electricity, water pressure or treated water may not be available.
What my family has.

Also, here's a link from Time.com on oral hydration therapy. It's what treats cholera.

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/artic ... -1,00.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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Re: Cholera Outbreak Hits Haiti, Nearly 200 Dead

Post by andygates » Thu Oct 28, 2010 10:05 am

Remember, clean water in is only half the story.
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Re: Cholera Outbreak Hits Haiti, Nearly 200 Dead

Post by TacAir » Thu Oct 28, 2010 12:18 pm

Oddly - the source of the outbreak has been traced to

The United Nations!

No, really!

Read the story here

No comment on the value of the UN in these situations.
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Re: Cholera Outbreak Hits Haiti, Nearly 200 Dead

Post by squinty » Thu Oct 28, 2010 1:57 pm

TacAir wrote:Oddly - the souce of the outbreak has been traced to

The United Nations!

No, really!

Read the story here

No comment on the value of the UN in these situations.
Damn. Just...(beats head on desk)
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Re: Cholera Outbreak Hits Haiti, Nearly 200 Dead

Post by andygates » Thu Oct 28, 2010 3:01 pm

The way I read this, there's some local politicking going on too. Come to think of it, exactly the kind of opportunistic little politicking that Haiti is sadly famous for. Caveat with that UN-hate, fellas. ;)
The mission strongly denies its base was a cause of the infection. Pugliese said civilian engineers collected samples from the base on Friday which tested negative for cholera and the mission's military force commander ordered the additional tests to confirm. He said no members of the Nepalese battalion, whose current members arrived in early October for a six-month rotation, have the disease.

The unit's commander declined to comment.

Local politicians including a powerful senator and the mayor of Mirebalais are pointing the finger at the Nepalese peacekeeping base, which is perched above a source of the Meille River, a tributary to the Artibonite River on Haiti's central plateau. The Artibonite River has been the source of most infections, which remain concentrated in the rural area surrounding it — mostly down river from the mouth of the Meille.

"They are located exactly where the sickness started," Mirebalais Mayor Laguerre Lochard, who is also running for Senate, told the AP
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Re: Cholera Outbreak Hits Haiti, Nearly 200 Dead

Post by andygates » Fri Oct 29, 2010 3:59 pm

"At my signal... unleash nerds!"

http://edition.cnn.com/2010/TECH/innova ... tml?hpt=C2" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Texts, maps battle Haiti cholera outbreak

By John D. Sutter, CNN
October 29, 2010 -- Updated 1936 GMT (0336 HKT) | Filed under: Innovation

Websites and health workers are using technology to try to map cholera cases and clean water sources in Haiti.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS

* Technology is used in unique ways to battle Haiti's cholera outbreaki
* Free text messages are sent to people in affected areas and in susceptible camps
* Volunteers work to "crowdmap" the outbreak
* They sort through tweets and other reports to map cases and show clean water points

(CNN) -- Health workers trying to combat the cholera outbreak in Haiti are using unique technologies to communicate with potential victims and map the disaster.

Local cellular networks are sending out free text messages to people in affected areas, giving them tips about how to avoid infection and telling them what symptoms to look for. The texts go out in Creole and specifically target people in trouble areas and in tent camps, where the disease could spread rapidly.

And "crowd mapping" groups are using internet volunteers to assemble real-time maps of the outbreak by aggregating geo-tagged tweets and text messages.

A website called HealthMap, for example, is collecting data about the locations of clean water sources in Haiti via text messages and Twitter posts.

That's particularly important because cholera spreads primarily through infected water and food.

A group called the OpenStreetMap team also is riding motorbikes through the streets of Haiti, carrying GPS equipment to map schools and clinics properly so aide workers and locals know where to get treatment, said Sabina Carlson, who works with a network of crisis-mapping volunteers.

"That's human dedication," she said by phone from Haiti, "and on a technological level that's somewhat new."

The cholera outbreak in Haiti has killed more than 300 people and made more than 4,500 sick.

Cholera is a bacterial disease that spreads easily and can claim lives rapidly. It has caused particular international concern in Haiti because of an earthquake in January that killed 220,000 and left more than 1.3 million people living in tent camps or on the streets, according to the Red Cross.

With so many people displaced and living in unsanitary conditions without access to toilets, there's concern about a widespread outbreak, said Julie Sell, a spokeswoman for the American Red Cross in Haiti.

That's why getting information about how to prevent the disease out to people in tent camps and in cholera-infected areas is so important, she said.

The Red Cross last week set up a program to send Creole text messages twice a day to 300,000 people in internal refugee camps and to 35,000 people near the Artibonite River, which is thought to be a source of the cholera outbreak.

The United Nations is still investigating the exact cause of the outbreak.

Sell said 80 percent of the people in Haiti who were displaced by the January earthquake have access to a mobile phone, so text messages are one of the best ways to reach as many people as possible.

She noted that radio broadcasts and visits from health workers are also part of the information campaign.

Cholera has not been seen in Haiti for four decades, so people need to get information about cholera symptoms and treatment as soon as possible, said Carlson, the community outreach coordinator at the International Organization for Migration, a nonprofit group.

"Cholera is such a new disease here that we are really trying to get as much information out as quickly as possible," she said.

People living in tent camps in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, say they have been calmed by the text messages since they are often unfamiliar with the particulars of the disease until they get information from health workers, Carlson said.

On the mapping side of things, volunteers around the world are sorting through text messages, tweets and emergency response information to create real-time maps that can be used to push emergency aid to places where it is most urgently needed. Those maps are also available to local people with internet access.

These mapping networks were developed after the Haiti earthquake but have proven useful in the current cholera outbreak, too, said Kurt Jean-Charles, executive director of a Haitian software company called Solutions S.A., which has developed a website -- Noula.ht -- to map cholera reports.

"We wanted to provide a platform and have it available to reinforce our local capacity to face disasters," he said by phone from Haiti.

Cell phones also are being used to track the potential trajectory of cholera.

Haitian mobile provider Digicel is using data it collects about where mobile phone users are located to see where people who have visited cholera-affected areas of Haiti go after they visit those troubled regions, said Carlson.

That data could be used to project where cholera might go next, she said.

John Brownstein, an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School who also works on the HealthMap project, said these group-produced maps are emerging as a new way to track the spread of disease.

In aggregate, the reports -- which are vetted for reliability -- provide a never-before-seen picture of an outbreak as it unfolds, he said.

"It gives you a sort of high-level picture of what's going on," he said.
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Re: Cholera Outbreak Hits Haiti, Nearly 200 Dead

Post by squinty » Fri Oct 29, 2010 4:24 pm

andygates wrote:"At my signal... unleash nerds!"

http://edition.cnn.com/2010/TECH/innova ... tml?hpt=C2" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Yay, nerds!

And, boo politicians!
exactly the kind of opportunistic little politicking that Haiti is sadly famous for
I know. (continues to beat head on desk) Whether it's a UN screwup or local political maneuvering, it's still frustrating. I get frustrated just reading about it. How do aid workers stay sane?
George Orwell wrote:Power is not a means; it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power.

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