Right after the earthquake we heard dire predictions of epidemics, and so far those hadn't come true. But today there is news of a cholera epidemic, with over 100 dead and over 300 sick in the Artibonite Valley, St. Marc, and Gonaïves. This article quotes smaller numbers, but with the conditions people live in, cholera has the potential to spread fast, so whichever numbers are accurate, the situation is serious. Right now we are hearing that the cases are outside of Port-au-Prince; should it spread to tent cities in the capital, the results could be horrifying. (Edited to add this article, in French, which quotes even higher numbers: 135 dead and 1500 ill.)
Cholera is the stuff of nightmares to anyone who read The Secret Garden as a child and shuddered over the description of Mary discovering that everyone in the house except for her is dead. It feels faintly unreal to hear that this disease is killing people right down the road from where I sit, but no more unreal, I suppose, than the fact that the city where I live fell down in an earthquake.
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