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Cholera case in Florida is no cause for alarm, officials say

November 17, 2010|By Mary Forgione, Los Angeles Times
  • Cholera spreads via unsanitary water. A man in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, collects water from a river strewn with waste.
Cholera spreads via unsanitary water. A man in Port-au-Prince, Haiti,… (Emilio Morenatti / Associated…)

Cholera poses big risks in places with poor sanitation and little access to clean water. That’s why Florida health officials say there's little cause for alarm over the first cholera case reported in their state since the deadly outbreak in Haiti.

A South Florida Sun Sentinel story says the state confirmed Wednesday that a woman returning from a visit to Haiti had been hospitalized with cholera. "We don't anticipate we will see any transmission as a result of exposure in Haiti in Florida or anywhere else in the U.S. … because our water and sanitation system minimizes the risk," Dr. Thomas Torok, a disease investigator with the state's health department, said in the story.

A second case of cholera outside Haiti also was reported Wednesday. The Dominican Republic, which shares a border with Haiti, took swift action to curb an outbreak in that country, says a Los Angeles Times story.

The disease marked by acute diarrhea and dehydration can kill quickly if untreated. To date, at least 1,100 people have died in Haiti since the outbreak last month spread from the country to the capital Port-au-Prince. Here's what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has to say about the cholera spidemic in Haiti.

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