Author: Jerry

The Second Cholera Epidemic in Haiti

The Second Cholera Epidemic in Haiti

Cholera returns to Haiti as nation lurches from one crisis to the next

It all began with a cholera outbreak and two simultaneous, simultaneous epidemics that claimed half of the population of Port-au-Prince by early July.

By July 3, Port-au-Prince residents had been dead for more than a month, two days in an average month, and a year in the past year. They were rotting in their own excrement, their children dying from malnutrition and disease.

The second cholera epidemic struck on July 9, just after the first one ended. Cholera was a scourge in many poor countries, but it proved to be a devastating pandemic in Haiti. As of July 19, Haiti was the most cholera-affected country in the entire world.

This was not the first time that cholera had hit Haiti. In 1857, it struck as a epidemic between 1848 and 1854, killing thousands and infecting nearly a third of the country’s population. The next epidemic, in 1865, was especially severe; at its peak, 80% of the population became ill with the disease, and 3,000 died.

The last time Haiti had a cholera epidemic was in 1836. The first outbreak of the disease in Port-au-Prince in 1835 was followed by an epidemic in March of 1836. The epidemic was over within weeks. In 1837, the cholera killed less than a dozen people in the country.

The last time Haiti had two cholera epidemics in a year was in January and February 1844. Only five years after Haiti’s first cholera epidemic, the country had its second. By 1855, Haiti would have only another two cholera epidemics in its history, the longest between. Since the first outbreak, Haiti has had no more than one within the last three or four decades.

The cholera epidemic that began in early July was a harbinger of things to come.

On July 2, the president, Michel Martelly, declared an emergency after two of his brothers contracted the disease

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