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Smaller treatment centers throughout Haiti's Central Plateau are also reporting sharp increases in recent weeks, though the most recent breakdown for Mirebalais is not yet available, Ivers said.
There are signs of a growing problem in Carrefour, a large and crowded city on the right at the western edge of the capital. Treatment centers there were reporting more than 300 new cases a day in early June, more than twice what they were seeing back in November, according to the aid group Oxfam.
An emergency latrine built in Carrefour collapsed as heavy rains fell and the waste spilled into a camp, according to a June report by the U.N.'s shelter cluster.
UNICEF's Mark Henderson, head of the U.N.'s water and sanitation response, said many nongovernmental organizations tapped into earthquake-related funds in the fall in a desperate effort for treatment and prevention. That money is no longer available.
"The initial funding that everybody received has come to an end," Henderson said.
Though the number of new cases is again rising, Health Ministry statistics show the number of deaths is far less than what it was during the initial surge. On a single day in mid-December, about 110 people died, compared with almost 20 in a single day in mid-June, according to the Health Ministry. The mortality rate is now under 2 percent, half what it was when the outbreak started.
The reason for the lower percentage of deaths is that people aren't waiting to get better, as many did when the disease first emerged, and instead are rushing for help. A public health campaign has featured radio jingles and text messages to educate people about the disease.
Haiti had never had a reported cholera outbreak until October, but the initial cause of the outbreak is now no longer so mysterious.
This month, an article in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention journal said evidence "strongly suggests" that a Nepalese peacekeeping mission, based in Mirebalais, inadvertently imported the disease. The article points to "an exact correlation" in time and place between the arrival of a Nepalese battalion from an area of its South Asian homeland that was experiencing a cholera outbreak and the appearance of the first cases in a river a few days later.
The treatment center in Mirebalais started as a single one-story building. It quickly grew to include several large tents and temporary shelters, and now they are expanding again.
As Associated Press journalists toured the site recently, construction workers prepared the foundation for new buildings.
Thunder boomed in the background as health worker Rosette Jean-Philippe darted among beds and cots, adjusting IVs hooked to thin wrists and replacing bags of rehydration fluid.
"When you're here, that's what you have to do to save lives," Jean-Philippe said.
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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