News & AnalysisInfectious Diseases

Second Bacterium Theory Stirs Haiti's Cholera Controversy

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Science  22 Jun 2012:
Vol. 336, Issue 6088, pp. 1493
DOI: 10.1126/science.336.6088.1493

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A just-published study is set to reignite the politically sensitive debate about the origins of the cholera epidemic that has killed some 7000 people in Haiti and sickened another half-million since 2010. The disease, which is still raging in the island nation, is widely thought to have been introduced to Haiti by United Nations peacekeepers, but some contest the verdict that a single imported strain of the bacterium Vibrio cholerae caused the outbreak. Some scientists, however, are harshly criticizing the work and conclusions.