Haiti’s cholera toll has passed 2,500, official figures showed Sunday, dashing hopes the fatality rate might be beginning to taper off, the Agence France Presse reports. The health ministry listed 2,535 deaths since the outbreak in the impoverished Caribbean nation erupted in mid-October. Almost 57,000 of the 114,497 people infected have been treated in hospital. Hopes rose last week that the death rate could be slowing as less than 30 people were shown to have died on two consecutive days.
Those hopes were dashed on Sunday as the earlier tolls were amended and 54 people were shown to have died on December 14, the most recent day recorded. At the outbreak’s peak in November there were daily tolls of 60, 70 and even 80 and above.
The cholera outbreak, Haiti’s first in more than a century, spawned deadly anti-UN riots last month as a desperate populace turned its anger on international peacekeepers accused of bringing the disease into the country. The Nepalese army has reacted angrily and said there is no evidence to support allegations the cholera emanated from septic tanks at their base in the Artibonite river valley, where the majority of cases and deaths have been.
The United Nations has said it will name an international panel to investigate the origin of the epidemic. A team of US and Haitian researchers confirmed last week that the outbreak was likely sparked by a human source from outside the region.