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Cholera

Are UN soldiers responsible for bring deadly cholera superbug to the Americas? Scientists say yes

Sunday, January 15, 2012 by: Ethan A. Huff, staff writer
Tags: cholera, superbug, UN soldiers


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(NaturalNews) The devastating earthquake that slammed Haiti back in January 2010 obviously left the poverty-stricken country in even worse economic and infrastructural shape than it was prior to the disaster. But the arrival of United Nations (UN) peacekeepers shortly thereafter made things even worse, at least according to many scientists and experts who say that these officers brought in a deadly "superbug" strain of cholera that has already killed at least 7,000 Haitians.

Prior to the arrival of UN peacekeepers in Haiti, there had never been a single known case of cholera in the country. But ABC News reports that top scientists involved with researching the source of this mysterious disease outbreak have concluded that all the factors point to UN peacekeepers as the source of the outbreak, a claim that UN officials say cannot be proven.

But the strain identified in Haiti is the exact same strain that caused an outbreak in Nepal, where the UN peacekeepers had been prior to arriving in Haiti. And a "sanitary breakdown" at an encampment along a Haiti river where these UN troops were staying also happens to be the same spot where the first cases of cholera showed up in Haitian natives, who had bathed in and drunk the water next to the encampment.

UN officials, on the other hand, insist that it cannot be proven that its peacekeepers are responsible for the outbreak. But scientists well-versed in the facts say there is no other possible explanation for the outbreak, which has now reportedly spread to Venezuela, the Dominican Republic, and even in major US cities like Boston, Miami, and New York.

"The scientific debate on the origin of cholera in Haiti existed, but it has been resolved by the accumulation of evidence that unfortunately leave no doubt about the implication of the Nepalese contingent of the UN peacekeeping mission in Haiti," French epidemiologist Renaud Piarroux is quoted as saying by ABC News.

Furthering that notion, Mark Weisbrot, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, DC, reportedly told the media that the UN's denial of responsibility for the outbreak is "outrageous," and even went so far as to suggest "gross negligence" on behalf of the international governing body who allowed the deadly disease to spread to unfamiliar territory.

Among all the areas hit by cholera infection in recent months, Haiti has suffered worst of all due to its inadequate sanitation infrastructure. Cholera typically thrives in third-world countries that lack clean water and proper waste disposal, both of which are lacking in battered Haiti.

Sources for this article include:

http://news.yahoo.com/scientists-un-soldiers-brought-deadly-superbug-americas-194141189--abc-news.html

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