Top 5 Global Health Headlines: Cholera Crossing Borders, Organ Traffickers Targeting Slums

BY Talea Miller  November 18, 2010 at 3:13 PM EDT

Members of a Haitian Ministry of Health body-collection team
A Ministry of Health body-collection team picks up cholera victims in Haiti. Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Cholera Spreads to DR, Miami

Cases of cholera have been confirmed in two people in the Dominican Republic and in Miami. Both were recently in Haiti, where more than 1,100 people have now died from the waterborne illness, heightening fears of further international spread.

Angry and frustrated protesters started a riot Monday in one of Haiti’s largest cities, claiming United Nations peacekeepers from Nepal are responsible for bringing cholera to the country.

Organ-Trafficking Ring in Kosovo

European Union prosecutors in Kosovo have charged at least seven people with involvement in an international organ-trafficking ring. The group targeted poor people in the slums of Istanbul, Moscow, Moldova and Kazakhstan, offering as much as $20,000 for kidneys and other organs. Many of the victims never received the payment they were promised.

Food Crisis Possible

The U.N.’s Food and Agriculture Organization warned this week that global food prices could increase sharply in 2011. Price hikes of up to 41 percent in wheat and 47 percent in corn are possible, and prices are already “dangerously close” to levels that sparked food riots around the globe in 2007 and 2008.

Brazil Braces for Dengue Fever

Brazil has seen a spike in Dengue fever this year – nearly 600 people have died from the disease since January, a 90 percent increase from last year. With the long, wet summer just beginning, the country is concerned another wave of deaths is coming.

Bird Flu Back in Hong Kong

A woman is seriously ill with the H5N1 bird flu in Hong Kong, the first case confirmed in the city since 2003. The woman had recently traveled to China, but it is not yet clear where she contracted the disease.

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