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11 malaria cases fan fears of wide outbreak in Haiti

MIAMI - The first feared cases of malaria have come to Haiti, weeks before the start of its next rainy season in May, and health officials are concerned that the deadly disease could become widespread.

Eleven cases confirmed among emergency personnel and Haitian residents, all expected to make a full recovery, have officials worried for the more than 500,000 Haitians made homeless by the Jan. 12 magnitude-7.0 earthquake.

"Displaced persons living outdoors or in temporary shelters and thousands of emergency responders in Haiti are at substantial risk for malaria," said a report yesterday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Each year, Haiti has 30,000 confirmed cases of malaria. The actual number is believed to be closer to 200,000.

Heavy rains came Feb. 28 in Les Cayes in the southeast, creating floods that killed eight people. - The Miami Herald


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