Haiti Relief

Monday, November 14, 2016

Hurricane season runs from June 1st to November 30th each year. Recently Hurricane Matthew devastated Haiti, killing hundreds (over 300 at this point). It is important that we provide support to any community when they are in need, including Haiti. There was a scandal regarding money given to the Red Cross to help in Haiti after a 2010 earthquake. This is yet another reminder that when you are helping through donations, be mindful and research the practices of the organization that you are giving money.

Another health issue that occurred after the hurricane (and after the earthquake) is Cholera. The UN has taken some responsibility in contributingto the outbreak.

Cholera is caused by a bacterium called Vibrio cholera. The bacterium is found in water or food sources that have been contaminated by feces from a person infected with Cholera. This happens in areas where the water treatment is not good or there is poor sanitation. In situations like hurricanes where the infrastructure is devastated, this can occur easily.

The symptoms of Cholera include lots of watery diarrhea, vomiting and can include leg cramps. Cholera can be treated by rehydrating the person, if solutions or clean water is available. In the US the risk of Cholera is low. At this point I advise making efforts to help those in Haiti through credible Haitian led organizations. Some organizations can be found in this article.


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