On January 5th, the HEAS lit up abruptly with reports of 200 cases of cholera and 17 fatalities (CFR-apparent 8.5%) in Pestel, located in an extremely remote area of Haiti. Almost exactly one year after HEAS partners did an emergency helo drop of medical supplies.
The HEAS hit a new operational record of about two hours between initial warning and confirmation of an emergency response package made available by several members of the HEAS, including Direct Relief International. Back and forth between officials at MSPP, PAHO, and CDC indicated they were unaware of the situation and vehemently denied the reports for 72 hours... but later came back to us and said it was not only 200 cases, but 300.
The ground team just arrived, confirming 300 cases in 2 of the 4 surrounding villages (survey of the other two villages pending). They discovered 55 fatalities (CFR-apparent of 18%), not the previously reported 17. The situation represents an IDIS Category 5.
Additional HEAS partners are rallying assistance now...