Keeping Tabs on Cholera in Haiti

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“It seems that a Haitian killed a Dominican, and now the Dominicans sent cholera here to kill the population,” one of my Haitian friends just texted me. That hypothesis was advanced by one of his employees, and that’s the kind of superstition and misunderstanding about sanitation that could quickly lead to a lot more deaths.

Latest reports of the recent cholera outbreak in Haiti are that 259 have died and about 3,000 have been hospitalized, with at least five confirmed cases in Port-au-Prince. The good news is that the cases didn’t originate in the overpopulated capital, but traveled there from the central rural regions where the outbreak originated. The bad news is that with no restrictions on travel between those areas and no potable water in many of the devastatingly squalid displacement camps where more than a million people have been living post-quake, it’s a short step to an epidemic. The Haitian health ministry reports that the infection rate is slowing but has likely not yet reached its peak.

You can keep tabs on the outbreak—and counter misinformation—on Twitter. @Haitifeed aggregates news about the country, much of it now cholera-related; the Miami Herald’s Jacqueline Charles and freelancers Jacob Kushner and Ansel Herz are on the ground reporting about the situation. Partners in Health, an organization that’s long been providing medical care in Haiti, is posting updates on its website, which is also a great place to donate if you want to help.

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Thank you!

We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

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