18 Dec 2010

UN panel to investigate source of cholera in Haiti

5:36 pm on 18 December 2010

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon has announced the creation of an independent panel to investigate the source of cholera in Haiti.

UN peacekeepers from Nepal are accused of introducing the disease. The UN has previously denied any connection.

The BBC reports cholera is very rare in Haiti, but endemic in Nepal.

In November, the US Centers for Disease Control found that the cholera strain in Haiti most closely resembled a South Asian strain.

A study on behalf of the French and Haitian governments also suggested the strain had been imported from South Asia.

The Nepalese army denies the accusation, but said earlier this month that soldiers were not tested for cholera before they went.

More than 2000 people have died of cholera in Haiti since the outbreak began in October.

Health officials estimate that 650,000 people could become infected over the next six months.