Testing plans are now in the making for the delivery of 200,000 doses of cholera vaccine for approximately 100,000 people --not enough to stop the cholera, but enough to show the world the vaccine works.
Haiti health officials last year had refused a donation of significant amounts of the leading cholera vaccine Dukoral, one that could have prevented a half-million cholera cases from occurring.
“Ronald Brus, chief executive of Crucell, the Dutch company that makes the leading cholera vaccine Dukoral, said he had proposed significant donations but was turned down by health officials.” (Financial Times)
Two oral cholera vaccines have been developed. Dukoral is licensed in Canada, Australia and the European Union. Orochol (Mutacol) is licensed in Canada and Australia. No vaccine is available in the United States because it has not yet been approved for use in the states.
According to MD Travel, the cholera outbreak in Haiti was first reported in October of 2010, which began in the rural areas north of Port-au-Prince---spreading throughout the country. Symptoms of cholera were profuse watery diarrhea and vomiting, related to drinking contaminated drinking water brought about by poor sanitation, poverty and overcrowding.
By August of 2011, a total of 388,958 cases and 5,899 deaths had occurred. Even though the epidemic had slowed down in July of this year, it quickly rose again with the onset of the rainy season. But so far, no travel restrictions have been placed on Haiti, only warnings for food and precautions.