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The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that the cholera strain now ravaging the country matched a strain specific to South Asia, but said they had not pinpointed its origin or how it arrived in Haiti.
Following an Associated Press investigation, the U.N. acknowledged that there were sanitation problems at the base, but says its soldiers were not responsible for the outbreak. No formal or independent investigation has taken place despite calls from Haitian human-rights groups and U.S. health care experts.
Transmitted by feces, the disease can be all but prevented if people have access to safe drinking water and regularly wash their hands.
President Rene Preval addressed the nation on Sunday to dispel myths and educate people on good sanitation and hygiene.
But sanitary conditions don't exist in much of Haiti, and more than 14,600 people have been hospitalized as the disease has spread across the countryside and to nearly all the country's major population centers, including the capital, Port-au-Prince. Doctors Without Borders and other medical aid groups have expressed concern that the outbreak could eventually sicken hundreds of thousands of people.
In the Dominican Republic, which shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti, health officials banned used clothing from being sold in outdoor markets along the shared border as a precautionary measure to stop the disease's spread.
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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