UN: Int’l Team to Probe Origin of Cholera in Haiti

UN: Int'l Team to Probe Origin of Cholera in HaitiUnited Nations, Dec 18. -The United Nations is working to create an international group to identify the origins of the cholera epidemic that has spread throughout Haiti since October, a top UN official reported Thursday.

UN Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Alain LeRoy said the team of scientists should be "completely independent," and its creation will be coordinated with the World Health Organization.

Investigators will have total access to the facilities of the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (Minustah), LeRoy stated.

Some people point to a detachment of Nepalese soldiers with the UN contingent as the origin of the epidemic, an accusation that led to violent protests by the Haitian population, but which was refuted by the UN.

Some charge the disease was caused when Nepalese soldiers dumped human waste into the Artibonite River, where the strain of the Vibrio Cholerae was found.

A study by renowned French epidemiologist Renaud Piarroux stated that a bacterium, which brought about the disease, emerged in Haiti through Nepalese soldiers and was spread from their base in Mirebalais.

According to estimates on Wednesday by Haitian authorities, at least 2,405 people have died and almost 110,000 have been infected with cholera.(Prensa Latina)