We are very sad to inform you that Cholera has been reported in the village of Balan.

We spoke with Jupille (our Haitian contact in Balan) this morning (Saturday, December 4th, 2010) and he and three others in the village are desperately trying to figure out a temporary solution to get uncontaminated water into the village.  We are calling his contact in Haiti to see about moving forward on drilling a well.  We have been facing road blocks in regards to the well because everyone is telling us that we will not get fresh water and we have not been able to find someone willing to drill for us.  We believe in the power of prayer and that God has the power to allow us to get fresh water to the people of Balan.  Will you join us in praying today for success in drilling a well and for protection for the people in Balan in the meantime.  Jupille said that the Red Cross came out a few days ago and gave purification tablets to about 15 families.  We are researching prevention and treatment for Cholera to see what resources we can get into the village.  We will keep you posted on what we find.

He said that one of the children in our sponsorship program got Cholera along with others in his family but that they got medical treatment and are ok now.  The name he gave me did not match up with any of the names I have.

Below is information we got off the Internet about Cholera.  If you have any knowledge about resources we can get to the people of Balan for prevention (water purification) or treatment please let us know.  For those of you with medical backgrounds we would like to know if getting antibiotics to the people in the village would be beneficial in treating Cholera or if there are any other mediciations that would treat the disease.  We are seeing what resources we have access to in Haiti.

We will keep you updated as new information becomes available.  PRAY!

Blessings,

Scott & Michelle Pitman

Cholera is an infection of the small intestine caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae.  The bacteria releases a toxin that causes increased release of water in the intestines, which produces severe diarrhea.  The main symptoms are profuse watery diarrhea and vomiting. Transmission is primarily through consuming contaminated drinking water or food. People get the infection by ingesting contaminated food or water.  The severity of the diarrhea and vomiting can lead to rapid dehydration and electrolyte imbalance. Primary treatment is with oral rehydration solution and if these are not tolerated, intravenous fluids. Antibiotics are beneficial in those with severe disease. The objective of treatment is to replace fluid and electrolytes lost through diarrhea. Depending on your condition, you may be given fluids by mouth or through a vein (intravenous). Antibiotics may shorten the time you feel ill.

Worldwide it affects 3-5 million people and causes 100,000-130,000 deaths a year as of 2010. Cholera was one of the earliest infections to be studied by epidemiological methods.

Symptoms

  • Abdominal cramps
  • Dry mucus membranes or mouth
  • Dry skin
  • Excessive thirst
  • Glassy or sunken eyes
  • Lack of tears
  • Lethargy
  • Low urine output
  • Nausea
  • Rapid dehydration
  • Rapid pulse (heart rate)
  • Sunken “soft spots” (fontanelles) in infants
  • Unusual sleepiness or tiredness
  • Vomiting
  • Watery diarrhea that starts suddenly
    • Diarrhea has a “fishy” odor
    • Stool looks like water with flecks of rice in it

Note: Symptoms can vary from mild to severe.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has developed an oral rehydration solution that is cheaper and easier to use than the typical intravenous fluid. This solution of sugar and electrolytes is now being used internationally.

Prognosis

Severe dehydration can cause death. Given adequate fluids, most people will make a full recovery.

When outbreaks of cholera occur, efforts should be directed toward establishing clean water, food, and sanitation, because vaccination is not very effective in managing outbreaks.

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