Haiti cholera toll hits 1,344: officials

November 22, 2010

Haitian health officials said Monday that at least 1,344 people have died from a worsening cholera epidemic that has ravaged the country since mid-October.

The toll, which registered cholera-related deaths and illnesses as of Friday, put the number of people who have been hospitalized with the disease at 23,377. Officials said the overall number of confirmed cases was nearly 57,000.

Hardest-hit has been the northern region of Artibonite, where some 13,000 people have fallen ill with the disease, of whom 701 have succumbed to it.

The epidemic hit here last month as Haiti struggles to recover from January's massive earthquake which killed a 250,000 people.

The capital city Port-au-Prince, seen as being particularly at risk of widespread infection because of the crowded and unsanitary conditions endured by tens of thousands of people sheltering in squalid, makeshift tent cities, has seen a total of 77 deaths, officials said.

The highly infectious disease can lead to and , and can kill within hours if untreated.

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