As we monitor the daily census at 5am each day, we are observing several trends; the number of adult cases has declined dramatically from the numbers on Sunday, but have essentially remained stable in recent days. The number of pediatrics cases has also declined, but appears to be stable, with a total population in the HAS Cholera Hospital about 35-40.
The CDC team has been visiting the courtyards of affected patients to evaluate the potential sources of the infection. Today they are visiting the health center in Petite Riviere, which received a large number of patients in the first days of the outbreak, but are now reporting a stabilization of the number of admissions. I was at the hospital in St. Marc yesterday, which had received the largest number of patients, but as of yesterday the numbers of cholera patients were reduced. In both the St. Marc facility and the Petitie Riviere heath center, primary support has been provided by Partners in Health. Now, each of the facilities has a staff from Medecins Sans Frontieres, which is caring for the cholera patients in an isolated area within the facility.
For all of us who are working with cholera patients, the demands for services remains high – HAS received a number of trauma patients last night from health care facilities in the region, and we also provide diagnostic services in the form of lab tests and X-rays for these facilities.
Today, our Community Health staff will meet with the Community Health workers, to provide current information about the spread of the disease, and also to thank them for their energetic pursuit of a public relations campaign for prevention of new cases. It is very probable that the decline in cases at HAS is related to these efforts.
Other visitors arrive daily at HAS – today we have a team from Massachusetts General Hospital’s Diarrhea Treatment Center in Bangladesh, and additional members of the team will arrive tomorrow. They will serve as consultants to the Haitian Ministry of Health in planning for the management of the disease if it spreads beyond the Artibonite. Our experiences here will be of relevance to their efforts, in the event of the further expansion of the incidence of cholera.