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Cholera and Vaccine Experts Urge U.S. to Stockpile Vaccine

As the cholera epidemic in Haiti continues to rage, public health workers are focusing their efforts on treating the tens of thousands who have already been hospitalized with cholera-like symptoms and providing clean water and adequate sanitation to control the disease’s spread.

Could the United States be doing more to help the situation? In an editorial published in the November 24, 2010, issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, vaccine and infectious disease specialists Matthew Waldor of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Peter Hotez of George Washington University and the Sabin Vaccine Institute, and John Clemens of the International Vaccine Institute in Korea note that safe and reasonably effective vaccines are available that could complement these efforts. These vaccines are in short supply, however, and the scientists state that the United States should stockpile cholera vaccines for rapid deployment to parts of the world that become at high-risk for the disease.
 
 

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