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Haitian Cholera Outbreak Compounding Crisis

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (CBS4) - Haitian radio stations in Miami, and Haiti, are burning up the airwaves talking about the Cholera outbreak in the earthquake ravaged country. They are trying to get the message out so that people in Haiti understand hand washing and drinking clean water can prevent a Cholera infection.

Haitian activists and doctors gathered Monday afternoon in Little Haiti at the Center for Haitian Studies on an emergency meeting.

"We are concerned, we are very concerned for Haiti because we know that Haiti is still trying to deal with one of the worst crises of its history and now this outbreak," said Marleine Bastien, a local activist.

Experts at the meeting estimated at least 3,000 people in Haiti have come down with the bacterial infection and 300 have died from it.

"We have seen an acceleration of the cases," said Dr. Michel Dodard of the University of Miami's Project Medishare. Dodard just returned from Haiti over the weekend. He said his medical teams are drowning in long lines of patients.

"Kids and older people were coming at the same time and they were quickly overwhelmed," recalled Dr. Dodard.

He said now the Medishare crews in Haiti are trying to focus a lot of their energy on education.

"Even teams on motorcycle... are going to the countryside to bring the messages and the first line of medication," said Dr. Dodard.

If they are not successful in educating the Haitian people this outbreak could grow into an epidemic.

EMERGENCY COMPONENT - LOCAL

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