by Stacey Singer
Palm Beach Post
There’s new evidence that the strain of cholera raging through Haiti today is an especially toxic one that was delivered by United Nations peacekeepers from Nepal, sent to respond to Haiti’s devastating earthquake in 2010.
The news comes two months after the United Nations claimed immunity from any financial responsibility for the return of cholera to Haiti, citing a 1946 document, the Convention on Privileges and Immunities.
Cholera is an intestinal infection caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. It can cause such severe and sudden diarrhea that the rapid loss of body fluids causes dehydration, shock and death. Haiti had been free of it for a century before the 2010 outbreak. It’s frequently spread by contaminated water.
Since October 2010, according to the Haitian government, 8,055 people have died of cholera; 614 of them were small children, under 5. More than 653,000 people have been sickened, widely believed to be an under count.