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Haiti cholera cases underestimated: expert

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Haiti cholera cases underestimated: expert

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Haiti’s cholera epidemic could be more severe than figures indicate, according to a European doctor advising the country’s health ministry.

Officially, the outbreak has claimed nearly 1,200 victims. But French medic Gerard Chevallier believes the real picture could be even bleaker, with deaths in remote areas not being reported.

The medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres is also raising the alarm.

“We are saying to ourselves that cholera is becoming a time-bomb and it is going to explode,” said MSF’s Virginie Cauderlier, on the ground in Haiti. “At the end of the month, we are going to be completely overwhelmed.”

Some 20,000 people have been treated in hospitals.

The water-borne disease can kill in hours through dehydration so a quick response is crucial.

Efforts has been complicated by anti-UN riots amid claims that peacekeepers brought cholera to Haiti. And aid workers are still dealing with another emergency – the aftermath of January’s devastating earthquake.