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UN reports Haiti's cholera cases approaching 50,000

11-25-2010 10:23 BJT

UNITED NATIONS, Nov. 24 (Xinhua) -- United Nations officials on Wednesday sounded the alarm on the reported cases of cholera in Haiti as the figure approaches 50,000 and warned that the number could increase.

With the death toll on Wednesday at 1,200, officials have said the disease could have claimed as many as 2,000 people with some deaths in remote areas going unreported.

Data on the epidemic has not been received from rural communities, Nigel Fisher, UN humanitarian coordinator in Haiti, said on Tuesday via video link from the capital Port-au-Prince.

Epidemiologists in the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO) estimate that the number of cases could reach 70,000, he said.

Fisher noted that PAHO epidemiologists have updated their projections of the disease, which is now expected to rise to 200, 000 in the course of three months. Earlier, experts had estimated that the figure would take six months to reach.

"Although there has been a significant mobilization of resources, both national and international ... we need to significantly ratchet up the response," said Fisher, who is also the deputy special representative of the secretary-general for Haiti.

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