HAITI CHOLERA TOLL NEARS 3,000
(The National) - AFP
PORT-AU-PRINCE - Haiti's cholera death toll has risen to 2,901 with official figures Thursday showing a record high for the daily number of fatalities since the outbreak erupted in mid-October.
The number of confirmed cholera deaths on December 19, the second most recent day on record, was just under 100, the data from the Haitian health ministry showed, far higher than previous peaks around 80 in mid-November.
As the total number of infections soared towards 150,000 in Haiti, there was also growing concern in the neighboring Dominican Republic where more than 100 cases have now been recorded including one suspected fatality.
Haiti's first cholera outbreak in more than a century has poured further misery on a poor and politically dysfunctional country trying to recover from a devastating January earthquake that killed some 250,000 people.
The epidemic spawned deadly anti-UN riots last month as some turned their anger on peacekeepers from Nepal accused of bringing the disease into the country.
Experts say the outbreak was likely sparked by a human source from outside the region and the United Nations has promised a thorough investigation into the origin of the epidemic.
Angry mobs in the deeply superstitious nation have stoned or hacked to death at least 45 people - most of them voodoo priests - accusing them of spreading the water-borne bacterial infection.
The epidemic comes against the backdrop of deep political uncertainty.
Flawed first round elections to find a successor to President Rene Preval are to be the subject of a recount monitored by international observers.