October 22nd, 2010
03:36 PM ET

With 138 dead, official says Haiti cholera outbreak will likely worsen

Greg Botelho

(CNN) - Chaos reigned north of Haiti's capital Friday as hospitals overflowed with people rushing to get help from a fast-moving cholera outbreak that has killed at least 138 people.

World health authorities warned that the situation could worsen, with more people showing symptoms, seeking care and fighting dehydration in scorching heat.

"This outbreak is likely to get much larger, given our experience with cholera in the past," said Dr. Jon K. Andrus, deputy director of the Pan American Health Organization.

Eric Lotz, Haiti's national director for the nonprofit Operation Blessing, described a "horrific" scene outside St. Nicolas hospital, the main medical facility in the city of St. Marc, as patients and their family members fought to get care.

"There was bedlam outside the gate," said Lotz. "Inside (the hospital), every square inch is covered with people."

Some people waited 24 hours or more to get help outside the hospital, many of them on stretchers, said Terry Snow, Haiti director for the nonprofit Youth With a Mission.

Snow said he tried to take one man with cholera to various clinics, only to end up at St. Nicolas hospital and be told that it was full. The man died soon thereafter in the back of his truck, he said.

"It's very chaotic," Snow said of the scene in St. Marc and more rural agricultural areas nearby. "People are trying to figure out what to do. People are lost."

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Filed under: 360° Radar • Haiti
soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. Chris McCarthy

    Hi Sanjay,
    I saw your report on CNN on 360 tonight and was so disapointed that the 5 billion in relief for Haiti has only been delivered in a very small amount. It pains me to say this but because only a fraction of the aid has been delivered after all this time and now it is getting worse I will no longer give any money to any disasters. Where does it go? 5 billion should have helped and what did we get? Someone is stealing this money.
    I won't sleep tonight.

    October 23, 2010 at 3:08 am |
  2. Annie Kate

    In the past in America there were cholera outbreaks – they are deadly and always claimed a large number of lives. They need to get a supply of clean water for these people or the cholera will continue to spread. I feel for these people – Haiti's troubles just seem to get worse and continue without any break...surely there is more that can be done to help these poor people.

    October 22, 2010 at 10:05 pm |
  3. Mary Jean Baxley

    I was there after the earthquake and saw the destruction. The situation continues to be terrible and now this latest tragic development. Resources are not getting where they are needed.

    October 22, 2010 at 9:07 pm |