Since it was introduced into Haiti — very likely by United Nations peacekeeping troops from Nepal who were billeted at a camp with poor sanitary facilities — cholera has sickened 715,000 people in Haiti and the Dominican Republic (which share the island of Hispaniola) and Cuba. Nearly 9,000 have died.
Andrus fully expects it will spread further. \”We are advocating throughout the region for countries to be on their guard,\” he says.
Cholera is thought to have invaded Cuba via infected health personnel who work in Haiti and travel back and forth. Cuba has reported nearly 700 cholera cases and three deaths, although many are skeptical that that nation is fully reporting the extent of its outbreak.
Andrus says vacationers visiting Cuba — who probably got cholera from contaminated food — have exported the disease to Chile, Venezuela, Italy, Germany and Holland. So far those cases haven\’t touched off outbreaks. But as the Mexican epidemic shows, it can easily happen if an imported case contaminates water or food in an area with poor sanitation. via – Health News : NPR