Friday, October 22, 2010

Cholera

An outbreak of cholera has started in and around St Marc, a small city about 2 hours north of Port-au-Prince, along the coastal route to Gonaives. My collegue, Dr Joey Prosper, a Haitian physician, has been there for the past 2 days, helping to treat the 1000+ affected. He said that over a hundred people have died in 48 hours.

Don't panic.

Cholera is a disease that causes excessive diarrhea and sometimes vomiting as well. It is spread from feces to water and food, and thereby can affect large numbers of people very quickly, especially by contaminating a town's water source. Cholera's greatest danger is severe dehydration due to loss of fluids.

Don't panic.

The treatment is quite simple: rehydrate. Lots of fluids, rehydration salts, IV fluids in the more severe cases. Some drugs such as cipro, azithromycin, bactrim and erythromycin can help shorten the disease duration, but the most important actions are preventative: lots of hand washing, cleaning food, boiling or using treated water for drinking and cooking, careful disposal of human waste, and keeping healthy people away from those affected. In other words, we need to do a series of simple things that are going to be virtually impossible to do in the tent cities of Port-au-Prince.

Don't panic. But do pray. Please pray that the outbreak is contained before it ever reaches the capital. Because if it reaches the capital...

Don't panic.

5 comments:

Jane D. said...

Praying big prayers - the plight was on UK tv news this morning x.

Mark Brown said...

Hey Keziah,
I'll be praying for your protection and all the others involved in this outbreak of Cholera. It's been so long, I'm sorry I haven't contacted you sooner. I really miss Haiti. Like really, really miss it. The experience down there really helped me make some decisions in my life. You are truly my real-life hero. Keep up the amazing work!
-Mark (Assistant Number 1)

William said...

Kez, you and the people of Haiti are definitely in our prayers here in Afghanistan. We lifted you up this morning in our mens bible study here at Camp Dwyer. Stay safe and healthy. The people there need you well!

Lauren said...

My dear friend, you and Haiti are in my prayers always... I know I'm far away, but please tell me what I can do to help. Donations, meds, etc, anything. Even if it's just a long email or skype conversation.

I love you.

Remember as always, TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF!!!! Be safe, drink lots and lots and lots and lots and lots. And wash & sanitize lots and lots and lots.

xoxoxo

Mama-Beth said...

Not panicing, but am sending money to Angel Missions. Sanitize, sanitize, sanitize!

(P.S. NY Yankees blown away by Texas! Bye-bye Yanks!)