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Le but de ce blog est d'eduquer et de discuter a propos des desastres naturels avec un focus sur l'activite et la vulnerabilite sismique, de reporter des informations generales relatives au tremblement de terre d'Haiti du 12 janvier 2010 et aux tremblements de terre du monde. Il met l'accent sur les efforts de reconstruction d'Haiti et la necessite d'utiliser des techniques de conception des structures de batiments et construction parasismique dans la construction des infrastructures physiques.

Haitilibre.com / Les dossiers

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Scientific study of the cause of the cholera epidemic proves the responsibility of the U.N Nepalese soldiers

Via Emerging Infectious DiseasesUnderstanding the Cholera Epidemic, Haiti. It is the most explosive report I have ever linked to on my H5N1 blog, and you need to read the whole thing—not only as a brilliant example of forensic epidemiology, but as a history of the coming of cholera to Haiti. It is also an implicit indictment of the United Nations. Excerpt from the Discussion section of the report, with my comments afterward:
Determining the origin and the means of spread of the cholera epidemic in Haiti was necessary to direct the cholera response, including lasting control of an indigenous bacterium and the fight for elimination of an accidentally imported disease, even if we acknowledge that the latter might secondarily become endemic. 
Putting an end to the controversy over the cholera origin could ease prevention and treatment by decreasing the distrust associated with the widespread suspicions of a cover-up of a deliberate importation of cholera (15,16). Demonstrating an imported origin would additionally compel international organizations to reappraise their procedures. 
Furthermore, it could help to contain disproportionate fear toward rice culture in the future, a phenomenon responsible for important crop losses this year (17). 
Notably, recent publications supporting an imported origin (7) did not worsen social unrest, contrary to what some dreaded (18–20). 
Our epidemiologic study provides several additional arguments confirming an importation of cholera in Haiti. There was an exact correlation in time and places between the arrival of a Nepalese battalion from an area experiencing a cholera outbreak and the appearance of the first cases in Meille a few days after. 
The remoteness of Meille in central Haiti and the absence of report of other incomers make it unlikely that a cholera strain might have been brought there another way. 
DNA fingerprinting of V. cholerae isolates in Haiti (1) and genotyping (7,21) corroborate our findings because the fingerprinting and genotyping suggest an introduction from a distant source in a single event (22). 
At the beginning, importation of the strain might have involved asymptomatic carriage by departing soldiers whose stools were not tested for the presence of V. cholerae, as the Nepalese army's chief medical officer told the British Broadcasting Corporation (23). 
The risk for transmission associated with asymptomatic carriage has been known for decades (24), but asymptomatic patients typically shed bacteria in their stool at ≈103 V. cholerae bacteria per gram of stool (25) and, by definition, have no diarrhea. This small level of shedding would be unlikely to cause interhuman contamination of persons outside the military camp having few contacts, if any, with MINUSTAH peacekeepers. 
By contrast, considering the presence of pipes pouring sewage from the MINUSTAH camp to the stream, the rapid dissemination of the disease in Meille and downstream, and the probable contamination of prisoners by the stream water, we believe that Meille River acted as the vector of cholera during the first days of the epidemic by carrying sufficient concentrations of the bacterium to induce cholera in persons who drank it. 
To our knowledge, only infectious doses >104 bacteria were shown to produce mild patent infection in healthy volunteers, and higher doses are required to provoke severe infections (26,27). Reaching such doses in the Meille River is hardly compatible with the amount of bacteria excreted by asymptomatic carriers, whereas if 1 or several arriving soldiers were incubating the disease, they would have subsequently excreted diarrheal stools containing 1010–1012 bacteria per liter (25). 
We therefore believe that symptomatic cases occurred inside the MINUSTAH camp.
If this peer-reviewed article is correct, the UN in general and MINUSTAH and WHO in particular are complicit in a public-health catastrophe as well as a shameful cover-up. The UN imported Nepali mercenaries (call them what they are) and failed to ensure that they were at least healthy when they left Kathmandu in the midst of a local cholera outbreak.

What's more, the Nepali camp in Meille was effectively a worse slum than the post-quake tent camps, because the mercenaries' sewage wasn't contained.

Worst of all, Piarroux argues that some Nepalis had to be actively ill with cholera in Meille, or the leaking sewage couldn't have contaminated the Meille River badly enough to cause the explosive spread of the disease. 

And yet Ban Ki-Moon's Haiti spokesman Martin Nesirky publicly asserted on October 29 that MINUSTAH had collected stool samples from the Nepalis that had "negative results."

Even incompetent commanding officers and UN bureaucrats would notice if their soldiers were down with a severe case of the shits. So someone responsible knew the Nepalis had brought active cholera with them, and kept quiet. Sooner than identify the true cause of the outbreak, that person (or persons) chose to conceal it. As Piarroux's report notes, identifying the cause would have made fighting the outbreak far easier.

So for crass political reasons, the UN denied and delayed, allowing cholera to spread among an already fragile population. I doubt that anyone responsible will suffer in the slightest for it.

Extracted from Crawford Kilian's blog in Haiti Rewired

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