Researchers at the TEDGlobal conference in Edinburgh, Scotland, this week described a device that collects water quality data to “chec[k] supplies in real-time, alerting users to possible infections,” and “upload[s] the data, allowing scientists to monitor the location and movement of outbreaks,” BBC News reports. The researchers said the device, called the Water Canary, “could prove invaluable for governments around the world keen to contain disease and environmental disasters,” according to the news service (Wakefield, 7/13).
Ronald Brus, CEO of the Dutch vaccine maker Crucell, said Haiti did not accept an offer of tens of thousands of cholera vaccine doses late last year, the Financial Times reports. Brus said Crucell offered significant donations of its Dukoral cholera vaccine, but Haitian health officials passed on the offer, according to the newspaper.
Puerto Rico has reported its first case of cholera imported by a recent traveler to the island of Hispaniola, where a cholera outbreak began in October, the Associated Press/Washington Post reports.
“Evidence ‘strongly suggests’ that a United Nations peacekeeping mission brought a cholera strain to Haiti that has killed thousands of people,” according to a study conducted by a team of epidemiologists and physicians and published in the July issue of the CDC journal Emerging Infectious Diseases, the Associated Press reports. The Haitian government has recorded more than 363,000 cases of cholera more than 5,500 deaths since the outbreak began in October.
More than 18,000 cases of cholera have been recorded in the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince since the beginning of May, an increase that may be related to “the beginning of the rainy season and the flooding that hit the capital,” according to Tarik Jasarevic, a WHO spokesperson, Agence France-Presse reports.
Three cases of cholera have been confirmed in the Democratic Republic of Congo capital of Kinshasa, “home to at least 9 million people, many of whom live in cramped, unsanitary conditions,” Reuters reports.
Heavy rains in Haiti have increased the number of cholera cases in the country, the Associated Press/Seattle Times reports.
Medical workers at a hospital in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, went on strike Thursday after a nurse was suspected of contracting cholera, the Associated Press/Kansas City Star reports.
Geert Cappelaere, UNICEF’s representative in Yemen, said the country is facing humanitarian challenges and is “absolutely in dire need of humanitarian assistance,” Reuters reports.
“At least 20 people have died due to torrential downpours in Haiti, authorities said Tuesday, and aid agencies are scrambling to respond to a resurgence of cholera triggered by the heavy rain,” CNN reports (6/8).