PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti -- Haitian President Rene Preval is giving citizens tips on fighting the rapid spread of cholera.

The disease had never had a confirmed case in Haiti before it appeared in late October along the rural Artibonite River and spread across the country.

More than 917 people have died and at least 14,600 have been hospitalized. Health care workers consider those numbers to be understated.

Cholera is mainly spread by fecal contamination of food and water. The strain ravaging Haiti is mainly found in South Asia.

The president led a panel of speakers in a Sunday address to implore citizens to practice good hygiene and proper cooking methods.

But most Haitians do not have access to clean water or reliable sanitation.