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U.N. Says It Will Investigate Source Of Haitian Cholera Epidemic As Death Toll Rises

The U.N. is looking into establishing an independent commission to identify the source of Haiti’s cholera epidemic, Alain Le Roy, the U.N. under-secretary-general for peacekeeping operations, said on Wednesday, the Associated Press/Washington Post reports. “We are urging and we are calling for what we could call an international panel,” Le Roy said at a news conference at the U.N. headquarters in New York. “We are in discussions with (the U.N. World Health Organization) to find the best experts to be in a panel to be completely independent,” he added.

Senator Leahy Calls For U.S. To Suspend Direct Aid To Haiti’s Government, Visas For Haitian Officials

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), who chairs the Senate Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on the State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs, “on Friday urged President Barack Obama’s administration to suspend direct aid to Haiti’s government and visas for its top officials until it ensures a fair and democratic outcome to disputed national elections,” Reuters reports.

Also In Global Health News: Cholera In Haiti; Food In Ghana; Health Care Access In Afghanistan; Violence Against Women In Somalia; Male Circumcision Study

CDC Report Documents Cholera’s Spread In Haiti Haiti’s cholera outbreak has spread across the country and infected more than 91,000 people, while more than 2,000 people have died as a result, the CDC said in its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, which was published on Wednesday, the Los Angeles Times…

Haitian Health Ministry Says More Than 2,000 Have Died From Cholera; Report Identifies Outbreak’s Source, Some Dispute Findings

More than 2,000 people have died of cholera in Haiti since late October, Haitian officials said on Monday, the Associated Press/Washington Post reports (12/6). According to Haitian health ministry figured, a total of “2,013 people have died from the water-borne bacterial infection and 88,789 cases have been recorded,” Agence France-Presse writes (12/6).

Also In Global Health News: Infectious Disease; Aid Money Needed For Afghanistan, Haiti; Increasing Rice Production; Family Planning In Rwanda

Species Extinction Could Lead Humans To Become More Vulnerable To Infectious Diseases “[T]he loss of biodiversity may make humans more vulnerable to infectious diseases,” according to a review article published Thursday in the journal Nature, VOA News reports (DeCapua, 12/6). “The review analyses studies of 12 diseases, including West Nile…

Haiti Requires Additional Trained Nurses, Doctors To Address Cholera Epidemic, U.N. Official Says

Haiti needs about 1,000 additional trained nurses and at least 100 more physicians to control the cholera epidemic, Valerie Amos, the U.N. undersecretary-general for humanitarian affairs, said during a recent visit to the capital of Port-au-Prince, Reuters reports. “We clearly need to do more,” Amos said of the global response to the cholera outbreak. “But it’s not just money, it’s crucially people, in terms of getting more doctors, nurses, more people who can help with the awareness-raising and getting information out there,” she said. The U.N. plans to work with countries and aid groups that have the capacity to quickly provide more health workers, according to Amos.

Haiti Cholera Death Toll Increases, U.N. Boosts Estimate For Number Of Expected Cases

“The cholera epidemic in Haiti is gathering pace and some violence is expected when the country holds elections this week, U.N. officials warned Tuesday,” Agence France-Presse reports. The official death toll from cholera is now above 1,400, but “experts believe that the real toll is close to 2,000 dead and the number of cases is between 60,000 and 70,000 rather than the 50,000 given by the authorities, Nigel Fisher, the U.N. humanitarian coordinator in Haiti said,” according to the news service (11/23).

U.S. Falling Short Of Its Goals To Improve Access To Clean Water, Sanitation Worldwide, Report Says

The U.S. is falling short on its goal of improving conditions for the 2.6 billion people worldwide without access to clean water and sanitation despite the fact the Water for the Poor Act became law in 2005, according to a report (.pdf) released Thursday by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), WaterAid, CARE and 11 other organization, Food Safety News reports (11/19).

Cholera Confirmed In Florida Woman Who Traveled To Haiti

“The first known case of cholera in the United States linked to the outbreak in Haiti was confirmed Wednesday by health officials who said a southwest Florida woman contracted the disease while visiting family in a region at the heart of Haiti’s epidemic,” the New York Times reports.