The coming weeks will be the toughest for Haiti since the January earthquake devastated the island-nation.
Cholera has been confirmed in a 3-year-old Port-au-Prince boy suffering from severe dehydration, vomiting and diarrhea -- the crippling and potentially fatal effects of the disease that has killed more than 500 people since the outbreak hit six weeks ago.
The spread of cholera to Haiti's capital means that millions of homeless people are now at risk for catching and spreading the disease.
Think for a second.
The magnitude of the international crisis boggles the mind if this already vulnerable population falls prey to the disease by the thousands.
The floods triggered by Hurricane Tomas could exasperate the disease, which is spread by consuming tainted water.
About 8,000 cholera patients are in hospitals now around the country. Health officials believe there are 30 cases in Port-au-Prince, even though only one case is confirmed.
If the disease does spread to significant numbers of the population, it will be interesting to see how the international community pitches in to help.
Lots of nations, including the United States, made big pledges of billions of dollars in reconstruction aid for Haiti in the immediate aftermath of the earthquake, but delays in distributing the aid have left the Haitian people in peril.
Let's hope that the heroic actions of health professionals on the ground are enough to avert a crisis. After seeing how international countries failed to deliver on their promises before, I hope they aren't put to the test again.
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