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Haiti says cholera deaths slow, now at 259

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The rate of deaths in Haiti's cholera epidemic slowed on Monday, officials said, as a multinational medical operation ramped up to curb an outbreak that has killed 259 people in the earthquake-hit country.

After several days in which fatalities had numbered dozens each day, only six deaths were recorded in the last 24 hours, all in the main outbreak area of Artibonite in central Haiti, health authorities said.

The other outbreak area of the Central Plateau experienced no new cholera deaths since a day ago.

The accumulated total of confirmed cases rose to 3,342, compared with 3,015 a day ago, reflecting a slowdown.

But Haiti's government and aid partners who have been assisting the poor Caribbean nation since a devastating January 12 earthquake remained on high alert against the possible spread of the deadly diarrheal disease to other parts of the country.

Cholera is transmitted by contaminated water and food.

"The number of deaths registered has significantly diminished, the number of people being hospitalized has also diminished," Gabriel Thimote, Director General of Haiti's Health Department, told a news conference in Port-au-Prince.

"We think that the situation is stabilizing. That doesn't necessarily mean we have reached a peak," he added.
 
 

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