Haiti Reports First Cholera Case In Port-Au-Prince

Health officials in Haiti are reporting the first confirmed case of cholera in the capital, Port-au-Prince.

Authorities have feared the disease, which has already killed at least 544 people in Haiti, could spread into the capital, where hundreds of thousands of people have been living in tent cities since January's earthquake. Residents in the crowded, squalid camps are especially vulnerable to cholera, which is caused by ingestion of contaminated food or water.

The outbreak was first reported late last month in the Artibonite region north of the capital, and the disease has spread to half of the Caribbean nation's 10 administrative regions. The health ministry says more than 8,000 people have been hospitalized.

Aid workers expressed concerns that the cholera epidemic could spread after floods from Hurricane Tomas, which struck last week. Cholera causes diarrhea and vomiting, and can quickly lead to severe dehydration and death."