October 29th, 2010
11:31 PM ET

One cholera carrier's story

The tragic story of 22-year-old Saint Helene and her 15-month old daughter Cherie shows how quickly cholera spreads from rural to urban areas, with deadly results.

About two weeks ago, Saint Helene visited friends in Artibonite, a city about an hour north of Port Au Prince. When Saint Helene and Cherie headed back to Port-au-Prince a few days later, they felt perfectly fine. What Saint Helene or Cherie could not have known at that time is they were likely carrying the cholera bacteria back to the nation’s capital.

Withing a few days, Saint Helene became suddenly ill. Within a couple hours, she was terribly dehydrated from diarrhea, and began to vomit. A good Samaritan brought mother and her young child to the closest hospital, where Saint Helene began treatment for cholera. She had an IV placed, and was given salts to replace the lost electrolytes. All of this happened within a few hours, relatively speedy, especially given the logistical challenges of Haiti.

And, with that, Saint Helene and Cherie illustrated several important lessons about cholera. Cherie, who was not sick, reminded us the vast majority of patients with the cholera bacteria actually don’t have any illness at all. Also, it was only several days after an exposure before Saint Helene began to feel ill. She was now getting simple, yet effective treatment.


soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. merle

    Did I miss the breaking news? All I saw was city girl goes to the country.... gets infected and goes home. Two days later gets sick goes to hospital gets treated and thankfully doing better. I dont see bombs flying here and there. Ozzys life. Dr. Phils shorts in a bunch( as mine are) over the jerk in a school board. So what is this momentus news?

    October 30, 2010 at 1:19 am | Report abuse |
  2. Q

    slow day, their sick down there, we get it already, and i dont want to here about that purple lipped boone spouting lies in my face, hes dumber thwn i am if he think i believe anything he says"

    October 30, 2010 at 8:27 am | Report abuse |
  3. Klm

    Nice place you got there! try to put a tourism spin on that. great place to loose some wieght, forget your everyday problems, and pray your cork does'nt pop out! dying by excessive crapping! oh and dont forget you get vomitting to, wouldnt want to go through all that and not have that "taste of haiti" to remanise about later. what a sh.ithole, ha!

    October 30, 2010 at 8:43 am | Report abuse |
  4. boomer

    'scuse me, I gotta go potty

    October 30, 2010 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
  5. kim

    She was one of the lucky ones she still alive. Many otherS died... Haiti cant get a break then there those that seem to get a kick out of picking at people while they suffer. Complete stranger insulting people when there at a low in there lifes is just hatefilled and mean but there are just those type that feed off the misery of others its rude unpleasant behavior like that, just makes me avoid alot of negative people.

    October 30, 2010 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
  6. osiris zapata

    What can u expect from a country that has been govern by blacks since the early 1800's, not much. Haitians are like animals, they destroyed their own country. Don't feel pitty for them they live like animals. Trust me im dominican i know.

    October 31, 2010 at 2:21 am | Report abuse |
  7. jerryfelldown

    As for living like animals it's no better on your side of the island.just cause u have better looking whorse on your side.Don't make u better. I know i went there often.

    October 31, 2010 at 7:04 pm | Report abuse |
  8. GoodNews316

    Our world is paralyzed by fear. Every day you turn on the news and see evidence of our impending doom. Pretty depressing stuff! Fortunately, there's good news! There is hope. See for yourself, visit: Story4.Us/2050.

    November 3, 2010 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |