A UN panel has issued a recent report on the cholera outbreak in Haiti. The report reviews genetic, genomic, epidemiological and other studies that relate to the origins of the cholera outbreak. The conclusion is a bit disconcerting – most likely the outbreak was introduced by UN personnel and was related to poor construction of temporary sewage systems for a UN camp. More detail on this story can be found in various news reports:
- Washington Post: Haiti cholera strain may have links back to peacekeepers, says U.N. panel
- UN News: UN to set up taskforce in wake of report into source of Haitian cholera outbreak.
- The Independent: Haiti’s cholera misery: 5000 dead — and UN peacekeepers to blame
Papers they cite in the report include many that are freely available such as:
It is nice that the UN report has hotlinks to many of these papers embedded in the PDF.
I note as a personal side story – I was second author on the paper in 2000 reporting the first Vibrio cholerae genome sequence. This bacterium is the causative agent of cholera. For more on that study from 2000 see this News and Views from Nature. Unfortunately, even though Nature Publishing Group promised to make the actual genome paper I was on freely available forever, they have for some reason made it a “pay for access” paper. Despite repeated inquiries to Nature about this closing off of access they have not corrected the availability. Therefore I have posted a PDF of the paper here.