Thursday, December 23, 2010

Lynch mobs in Haiti looking for someone to blame for cholera

Lynch mobs have begun in Haiti as people are looking for someone to take the blame for the cholera epidemic. At least 40 people have been killed by the mobs so far. The mobs accuse the victims of using black magic to spread the disease.

From France 24, this wire story gives us more details.

At least 40 people have been lynched in recent weeks by angry Haitian mobs who accused their victims of spreading cholera in the poverty-stricken nation, local officials said Wednesday.

Fourteen people suspected of using black magic to spread the disease in the south-western region of Grand Anse were among those killed.

A cholera epidemic has killed more than 2,500 people since its outbreak in Haiti in October. More than 100,000 people have fallen ill from the disease and it is feared that six times as many people could become infected.
Science backs rumours

Meanwhile, scientists reported in the New England Journal of Medicine on Thursday that strong evidence suggests the disease came from South Asia.

Researchers said DNA samples from cholera bacteria recovered in Haiti were nearly identical to strains found in South Asia. The finding supports controversial theories that UN troops from Nepal or Bangladesh may have been responsible for bringing the disease to the Caribbean nation.

According to Harvard researcher Dr. Matthew Waldor, the finding indicates that cholera was introduced by people rather than arriving on ocean currents or occurring within Haiti, which also has been suggested.

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