Cholera in Haiti

African children washing their hands

On October 20, 2010, the first outbreak of cholera ever confirmed in Haiti was recognized 10 months after the catastrophic earthquake that killed over 200,000 people and displaced over 1 million.

This cholera outbreak was the worst in recent history with over 820,000 cases and nearly 10,000 deaths 1, 2. Since the beginning of the outbreak, CDC has worked closely with the Haitian Ministry of Public Health and Population (MSPP) to combat the cholera epidemic and reduce the impact of the disease.

Rapid response from CDC, the Haitian Ministry of Public Health and Population, Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and partners prevented thousands of deaths from cholera. Cholera transmission continued throughout Haiti through early 2019, though cases and deaths had been in steady decline since 2016. From a peak of over 352,000 suspected cholera cases in 2011, and over 4,000 suspected cholera deaths in 2010, only 720 suspected cholera cases and 3 cholera deaths were reported in 2019 1. This represents a greater than 99% decrease in cases from 2011 to 2019. There have been no laboratory-confirmed cases of cholera in Haiti from February 2019 through October 2020 3. Improving Haiti’s water and sanitation infrastructure and strengthening cholera surveillance are critical to preventing future cholera spread in Haiti, and may allow the disease to be eliminated from the island of Hispaniola, the last foothold of cholera in the Americas.