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Fear of cholera epidemic grows in Haiti after Hurricane Matthew

Cholera fears in Haiti
Fears grow in Haiti over cholera after Hurricane Matthew 02:29

The toll from Matthew in Haiti continues to worsen. At least 1,000 people have been reported dead, and more than a million people are in need of aid. Nearly 200,000 people have been forced from their homes.

Those lucky enough to live through the hurricane now find themselves struggling to survive.

Amid the widespread devastation across Haiti, desperation is setting in. Without access to clean food or water -- at least 1.4 million people are in need of immediate help -- there are growing fears of a mass cholera outbreak

How Haiti is recovering from Hurricane Matthew 03:36

In the hard-hit town of Jeremie, dozens of cases have already been reported. One  mother of five had no answers for her starving children. The mother said her baby was crying for water and she had nothing to give him. 

“The biggest urgency right now for this hospital and this community is clean water,” Alfred Casimir, the director of Community Health at Haitian Health Foundation, told Duthiers in Creole. “The real fear is that the devastation of Hurricane Matthew will be felt for days and perhaps weeks to come if there is an epidemic of cholera breaks out here.”

Relief has started to pour in. The U.S. military has already delivered some 140,000 pounds of food. 

“These are the types of events that you can tell your grandkids about, and be proud about the fact that you’ve made a difference in a positive way,” said Rear Admiral Cedric Pringle. 

With around 1,000 reported deaths, Haiti bore the brunt of Matthew. With limited access to radio or TV, most here got little to no warning from the Haitian government.

Elise Adette said she had no idea how severe a Category 4 hurricane could be. She said if she knew how bad this hurricane was going to be, she would have prepared and taken her child and evacuated to a place that was safe. Instead, she came to work like any other day.

The World Health Organization said it’s sending one million doses of cholera vaccine to Haiti. The last cholera outbreak here killed at least 10,000 people and sickened hundreds of thousands more. 

The U.S. military has set up medical tents. They and other observers are preparing for the worst. 

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