Since the epidemic began in Haiti two years ago, cholera has sickened more than 600,000 people and killed more than 7,500. Last year, Haiti logged more cases than all the rest of the world combined, according to the World Health Organization.
This year the epidemic is on track to be among the world’s worst again, with nearly 77,000 cases and 550 deaths, according to the Haitian Ministry of Health. We’re continuing to see cases rise and fall with seasonal rains. Hurricane Sandy, which passed by Haiti last night, brought downpours that have swelled rivers and already contributed to an increase in cases.
There’s another number I can’t shake.
That’s how many cholera deaths we should be willing to accept. Cholera is a preventable, treatable disease that has been eliminated in the wealthy world through access to clean water and decent sanitation.