Cholera, a water-borne disease believed to originate from contamination of Artibonite river is feared to reach epidemic proportions in Haiti’s capital Port-au-Prince, currently recouping from January’s earthquake.

First five cases of Cholera in Haiti’s capital were reported on Sunday, October 24, 2010. The health disaster can reach epidemic proportions by spreading to nearby Port-au-Prince's squalid tent cities. Earthquake refugees still dwelling in tents are easily susceptible to infection. But the current death toll of 253 and 3015 infections represent only a marginal increase in expected adversities. Encouraging news from Haiti authorities is that death toll can be contained by measures that prevent spread of cholera.

The authorities are providing clean water to public and advise people to follow strict hygiene guidelines. The situation was brought under control by joint efforts of Canadian government, US Red Cross and United Nations. Relief efforts that were put to practice included distributing medication from international donors, installing large tents, shipments of relief supplies to Haiti. The Canadian government offered to set up a military hospital and allocated one million Canadian dollars towards suppressing this epidemic.

A 7.0-magnitude earthquake in January killed about a 25000 of population and displaced many more in Haiti’s capital Port-au-Prince. An outbreak of Cholera among people living in tents will raise the disease to epidemic proportions. Substandard conditions, unhygienic surroundings and unsanitary habits and conditions among refugees and resultant contamination of water and food is ample cause for spread of disease. In the current outbreak, 50 prison inmates are infected and 3 have died.Dieula Louissaint, Director of Health, Artibonite region, emphasises on undivided and isolated treatment of Cholera patients in specific treatment centers. At present, about 3000 people are seeking treatment in hospitals and health centers.

The multitudes of efforts have limited spread of disease to a defined region in northern and central Artibonite plateau. All the five reported instances of Cholera in Port-au-Prince were in people who travelled from these affected regions. But the UN Organisation for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs discredits an epidemic status based on five instances. Haiti's Foreign Minister Marie Michele Rey has informed reporters that the situation is under control.