Published: Dec 17, 2010 7:00 PM EST
Updated: Dec 17, 2010 4:00 PM EST

UNITED NATIONS (AP) - Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is establishing an international scientific panel to investigate the source of the cholera epidemic in Haiti that has killed more than 2,400 people.

The U.N. chief told a news conference Friday that he was creating the independent panel to make a determination since there are several different theories about the origin of the outbreak.

There has been widespread speculation in Haiti that the outbreak started at a base for U.N. peacekeepers from Nepal upriver from where hundreds were falling ill. U.N. officials rejected any idea the base was involved, saying its sanitation was airtight.

Ban said the panel will include epidemiologists and microbiologists and he hopes to announce its members "as soon as possible."

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