NPR logo Cholera Reaches Florida; One Case Reported In Dominican Republic


Cholera Reaches Florida; One Case Reported In Dominican Republic

Florida health officials confirmed the state's first case of cholera. NPR's Greg Allen has more:

Florida's Department of Health says the cholera case involves a woman who recently returned from visting family in Haiti's Artibonite Valley.  She has since recovered.  Health officials haven't identified her further except to say she lives in Southwest Florida and does not work in a job that puts her in close contact with the public.

Florida has a large Haitian-American population and travel to and from the island is common.  In Haiti, cholera has killed more than 1,000 and hospitalized some 16,000 people.

Florida health officials says they're investigating other suspected cholera cases but that the disease does not pose a significant health threat in this country.

Nearly 20 years ago, when an epidemic hit Peru, about 20 cases of imported cholera cases were reported in Florida.

Earlier, The Miami Herald reported health officials in the Dominican Republic confirmed the country's first case of cholera. The 32-year-old Haitian man was infected after a two-week vacation in Haiti.

The Herald reports the Dominican government is taking preventive action:

Twelve other suspected cases were tested but turned out negative... Three more cases were confirmed on the Haiti side of the border, according to press reports.

The Dominican government had already taken measures to limit border crossings in Dajabón, where a chaotic market takes place twice a week. Haitian merchants regularly cross the border to the Dominican border town and sale their wares.