(LEOGANE, Haiti) -- Officials in Haiti tell ABC News that cholera is spreading to the north and is now "endemic" to Haiti. Ted Steinhauer is directing Medical Teams International's operations in Haiti and spoke with ABC News from a hospital in the tiny town of Gros Morne, where he said there are 600 cholera patients. He said there are likely thousands more in the mountainous north and northwest.
Steinhauer said the disease has entered the water supply. It first bloomed last month in the Artibonite valley, a big rice farming area. The rice workers carried it up to the mountains where they live. There is little sanitation up there and no latrines, so they defecate in creeks and streams. The flooding from Hurricane Tomas just spread everything out.
Medical teams are still assessing the situation, and the U.N. said it could be four days before they can confirm the new outbreak. They said there’s “severe diarrhea” in several parts of the country.
Cholera is easily survivable if the sick are treated quickly.
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