Clean Water and Education Outperform Vaccines

A new study has taken a look at how the Haitian cholera outbreak is likely to evolve. It found that clean water and hygiene education measures are likely to be more effective at reducing the spread of the disease than a vaccination campaign.

The researchers created disease dispersion models for more than 500 Haitian communities to predict the spread of the illness and the cholera cases that would result.

According to the American Geophysical Union:

“[The scientists] modeled the effect of a campaign to vaccinate 150,000 people (the maximum possible given the vaccine supply) in Port-au-Prince starting on January 1, 2011 and discovered the benefits would have been negligible ... By contrast, results suggest that clean water and hygiene education measures could be much more effective at reducing cholera’s residual progression in Haiti.”

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