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Media Availability: Dr. Peter Hotez Available to Discuss NEJM Commentary on Cholera Vaccine

Washington, D.C. – Recent events in Haiti illustrate the urgent need for countries to stockpile and distribute cholera vaccines. Dr. Peter Hotez, President of the Sabin Vaccine Institute and distinguished research professor and chair of The George Washington University Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Tropical Medicine, emphasizes this need in a commentary in today’s New England Journal of Medicine. 

Dr. Hotez, who co-authored the commentary, “A National Cholera Vaccine Stockpile – A New Humanitarian and Diplomatic Resource,” is available for comment on the devastating implications of a cholera outbreak and the impact of preventative vaccines. Dr. Hotez co-authored the article with Dr. Matthew Waldor, from Harvard Medical School and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and Dr. John Clemens of the International Vaccine Institute. 

In the aftermath of Haiti’s disastrous earthquake, the country is experiencing its first cholera outbreak in decades. There is strong evidence that the epidemic will only worsen as the disease continues to spread across the nation’s capital, Port-au-Prince, where more than a million people remain in squalid temporary camps.  

Cholera is a waterborne bacterial infection spread through contaminated water.  The disease causes severe diarrhea and vomiting that can lead to death and dehydration within hours. Treatment for cholera includes rehydrating with oral or intravenous fluids.  

For copies of the article and to speak with Dr. Hotez, please contact Anne Banner at 202-994-2261 or abanner@gwu.edu.