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PALIKIR, Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia (August 2, 2000 – FSM Information Service)---At least one FSM health official has expressed guarded optimism over the low numbers of patients treated for suspected cholera on Pohnpei during the past five days.

"It is a positive sign," said Dr. Jefferson Benjamin, Assistant Secretary of the FSM Department of Health, Education, and Social Affairs, today, referring to what appears to be a major drop in the number of people receiving treatment reported by the hospital.

In fact, the numbers show a definite shift from people going to the emergency room to going to the dispensaries located around the island, noted Benjamin.

"This is a very positive sign," he said again.

According to the report from the Pohnpei State Hospital, the number of people receiving treatment fell from a reported 23 on July 26 to 14, 10, 12, 13, and 13 over the next five days.

This brings the total number reported since April 17 to 2,495 people who have been treated for suspected cholera, according to the report.

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