November 16, 2010

Health care administrators, trusting the consensus among experts that a cholera outbreak was unlikely, concentrated on more pressing health concerns. Trauma injuries received first priority after the earthquake, and health care specialists also devoted much of their time and resources to treating patients suffering from diabetes, heart disease, HIV, and tuberculosis. Health workers placed a high emphasis on immunization campaigns to prevent measles, rubella, diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis. A cholera vaccine was available at a cost of only 50 cents a dose, but due to the perceived improbability of an outbreak, health care administrators did not seriously consider widespread distribution to be necessary. Hence, while health workers had the technical capability to prevent an outbreak, they did not have compelling reasons to implement such measures."
- COHA Research Associate Joseph Crupi