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Haiti's Cholera Outbreak One Of Many Hurdles In Rebuilding Post Hurricane Matthew

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Cholera cases in Haiti have doubled each day in the last two week since Hurricane Matthew devastated the island's southwestern region, according World Health Organization estimates.

The disease is just one of many hurdles aid workers are identifying as the Caribbean country rebuilds.

haiti cholera
Items lay scattered around damaged and destroyed homes in Anse d'Hainault, southwestern Haiti, Friday, Oct. 14, 2016. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

“On top of people having all their crops, all their way of making money all their house, everything they own, on top of having all of that destroyed, they also have to worry about cholera and drinking whatever sources their getting their water from, whether that’s safe or not for them,” says Laura Sewell, assistant country director for CARE, Haiti.

The disease has killed up to 173 people since the hurricane hit as human and animal waste are contaminating drinking water, Reuters points out.

Head of Jerico Mobile Clinic, Keteline Pierre told CTV News, that people are getting their drinking water from one side of the river, not knowing there is a dead animal on the other end.

haiti cholera
LES CAYES, HAITI - OCTOBER 14: Women wash clothes in a canal while children splash into the water on October 14, 2016 in a small village near Les Cayes, Haiti. (Photo by Thomas Lohnes/Getty Images)

Cholera has been in the country since a 7.0 magnitude earthquake devastated the country in 2010. The disease causes severe dehydration and diarrhea has since killed more than 9,000 people.

“Whenever there is a lot of rain or a lot of water, or whenever people are displaced, when people are living outside of their houses, that’s when you’ll more likely see cholera spread. So we’re definitely seeing increased cases in the southeast and in the southwest... There are more than 200 [cases] reported in the southwest,” says Sewell.

Tens of thousands are still at risk, with lack of shelter and adequate drinking water.

“Water is definitely a need. Making sure people know about cholera and know how to prevent the spread and have water treatment chemicals to be able to treat their water at their own homes to so they're really able to do their best to prevent the spread of cholera,” says Sewell.

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