(HealthDay)—During the first two years of the cholera epidemic in Haiti, the cumulative attack rate was 6.1 percent, with a consistent downward trend seen in cumulative case fatality rates, according to a study published online Jan. 9 in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Ezra J. Barzilay, M.D., from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, and colleagues examined data from the first two years of surveillance from the National Cholera Surveillance System (NCSS), established days after detection of the cholera epidemic in Haiti in October 2010.
The authors found that, in all 10 administrative departments in Haiti, cases of Vibrio cholerae O1 were confirmed within 29 days of the first report. The public health ministry reported 604,634 cases of infection; 329,697 hospitalizations; and 7,436 deaths from cholera through Oct. 20, 2012, and isolated Vibrio cholerae O1 from 62 percent of 2,703 stool specimens tested. At the end of the first and second year, the cumulative attack rate was 5.1 and 6.1 percent, respectively. There was a consistent downward trend in the cumulative case fatality rate, reaching 1.2 percent at the end of year two, with rates ranging from 0.6 to 4.6 percent between departments. The rolling 14-day case-fatality rate was 1.0 percent within three months after the start of the epidemic and remained around this level.
"The investments in the NCSS have improved the overall surveillance and epidemiologic capacity in Haiti and will further serve to monitor post-earthquake efforts to reduce morbidity and mortality associated with preventable disease," the authors write.