Though Haiti and the Dominican Republic are still reporting cholera cases, the trends are decreasing and the number of cases reported so far in 2014 is running below this point in 2013, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) said yesterday in an epidemiologic update.
Haiti has reported 3,850 new cases and 18 deaths so far this year through Mar 10, PAHO said. Since the outbreak began in October 2010, the country has reported 700,541 illnesses, 8,546 of them fatal.
Elsewhere, Cuba has reported 23 lab-confirmed cholera cases from the end of August through late February, for an outbreak total of 701 illnesses, three of them fatal. Cuba's outbreak began in early July of 2013. No new cases have been reported from Mexico since Nov 15.
In other developments, international donations meant to improve Haiti's sanitation system are well below what's needed to improve the country's sanitation system, considered a key factor in curbing the country's cholera outbreak and providing the area with safe water, according a recent New Yorker blog post by global health reporter Jonathan Katz.
A United Nations official told Katz that the price tag for building a water and sanitation infrastructure for Haiti is $1.6 billion, but so far only $180 million has been disbursed by member states and health organizations.
Katz wrote that the country's new National Directorate for Potable Water and Sanitation opened in 2009 with nine staff members. International aid helped open two new waste treatment plants north of Port-au-Prince, but one closed due to lack of funds, and the other is operating below capacity.