Haiti’s cholera death toll rises to 136 as outbreak gets ‘worse and worse every day’ in the nation of 11 million BANJO, HAVANA, Feb 18 (Reuters) – Haiti’s death toll from cholera surged to 136 on Monday as the outbreak now appears to be worsening.
The new figures confirmed at least 463 deaths from the cholera outbreak, with health officials telling Reuters the death toll could be as high as 1,000.
The government has blamed the outbreak on contaminated food and water and said it needs at least $5.8 billion in assistance to combat the disease. But relief workers and aid agencies say the root of the problem may be more entrenched.
Haiti’s cholera outbreak has killed 136 people since its onset a year ago, Health Minister Michel Bensedec said on Monday, as the death toll rose to 13 in Sunday from 11.
The new figures were confirmed by the U.N.’s World Health Organization (WHO).
The figures were disclosed as officials said the U.N.’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs had raised its cholera estimate from 1,000 to 2,000 cases from its Feb. 7 report.
Haiti, which has a population of 11 million, reported almost 200,000 cases of cholera in 2014 with 2,836 deaths, according to the ministry. That year, only 39 people died of cholera.
The World Health Organization’s latest data showed a new strain of the disease was found in Haiti, but that it was spread largely by contaminated water and food.
The death toll is expected to rise as health authorities do not yet have access to the vast majority of cases and the virus is new.
The outbreak has been blamed on contaminated food, water and a lack of sanitation.
The disease spreads through the feces of infected people that can contaminate water.
“Haiti is suffering from a very real public health emergency,” said Dr. Peter Salama, WHO’s representative to Haiti.
“There is much more to this