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...cholera has killed more than 7,050 Haitians and sickened more than 531,000, or 5 percent of the population. Lightning fast and virulent, it spread from here through every Haitian state, erupting into the world’s largest cholera epidemic despite a huge international mobilization still dealing with the effects of the Jan. 12, 2010, earthquake.
The world rallied to confront cholera, too, but the mission was muddled by the United Nations’ apparent role in igniting the epidemic and its unwillingness to acknowledge it. Epidemiologic and microbiologic evidence strongly suggests that UN peacekeeping troops from Nepal imported cholera to Haiti.
“It was like throwing a lighted match into a gasoline-filled room,” said Dr. Paul Keim, a microbial geneticist whose laboratory determined that the Haitian and Nepalese cholera strains were virtually identical.
...on Oct. 8, 2010, hundreds of Nepalese troops began arriving in Haiti after a cholera outbreak in their homeland, where cholera is endemic.
Cholera affects individuals differently; many infected develop no symptoms or only mild or moderate diarrhea.
...Falling violently ill in October 2010, Pelette was (perhaps) ... the first Haitian to die of cholera, and, though he was not named, he was presented as the “first case” in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene in January.