[to top of second column]
On Tuesday, Haiti's health ministry said the disease has become a threat to the entire nation of 10 million people.
"Now it is our duty as citizens to help solve this problem, which has gone from being an urgent humanitarian matter and gone to the level of national security," the ministry's executive director, Dr. Gabriel Timothee, said during a televised news conference.
The disease, primarily spread when infected fecal matter contaminates food or water, is treatable, mainly by rehydrating the sick with safe water mixed essentially with salt, sugar and potassium or with intravenous fluids. Antibiotics also are used sometimes.
But decades of failing and often regressing infrastructure -- wracked by political upheaval, unbalanced foreign trade, a 1990s embargo and natural disasters -- have left millions of Haitians without access to clean water, sanitation or medical care.
Haitian and foreign aid workers continued campaigns to tell people to wash their hands, cook food thoroughly and take other precautions against the spread of cholera.
But health officials said that cholera will be part of the Haitian landscape for a long time, taking its place among the other challenges in one of the world's most difficult places to live.
"We have to think about and plan for the long term," Andrus said. "The bacteria have a foothold in the rivers and the water system, so it will be there for a number of years."
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
< Recent articles
Back to top
News | Sports | Business | Rural Review | Teaching & Learning | Home and Family | Tourism | Obituaries
Law & Courts |
Spiritual Life |
Health & Fitness |
Calendar | Letters to the Editor