Everyday Anthrax

In Haiti, anthrax is near commonplace.

| March/April 2002

The anthrax scare that dominated the news last fall would have been barely worth mentioning in Haiti, where as many as 500 people contract the disease each year. As the investigative newsletter CounterPunch (Nov. 1–15, 2001) reports, anthrax has been prevalent in Haiti since the mid-1970s, a result of government apathy and drug company greed. Sick animals are slaughtered and fed to desperately hungry families, who ingest the bacteria and fall fatally ill, because neither the government nor the drug companies have provided access to cheap vaccinations.