135 people dead from cholera outbreak in Haiti

A suspected cholera outbreak north of the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince, has killed up to 135 people, health officials and news reports said on Thursday.

Haiti's Radio Metropole reported that more than 50 people had died of acute diarrhoea, but Gabriel Timothe, the director general of Haiti's health ministry, was quoted by the BBC as saying that 135 people had died and 1,500 people had fallen ill.

Health authorities were awaiting laboratory tests to confirm that cholera was the cause of the deaths. Cholera is a bacterial infection affecting the intestines. It is triggered by bacteria transmitted through dirty water or contaminated food and causes diarrhoea and vomiting, which leads to severe dehydration and can kill quickly.

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