(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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