The cholera epidemic in Haiti has been carried outside that country to the bordering Dominican Republic. The first deaths in the DR were around the end of Jan 2011.
Now, travelers to those countries are bringing it back. In early Feb three travelers to a wedding in the DR brought it back to New York where they have since been treated.
In Nov 2010 there was a case in FL which was brought back from a traveler visiting family in Haiti.
Massachusetts had 6 reported cholera cases in patients who traveled either to the Dominican Republic or Haiti.
Of the 452 in the group, 317 Venezuelans brought it back to their country from the same posh society wedding. Again, authorities assure the country that it was contained and contamination was not spread. Other guests were also treated in Spain and Mexico.
Based on this report it is still spreading:
Suspected cases of cholera have since been reported in Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, and Venezuela. Confirmed imported cases have been reported in Florida. The CDC has reported 13 suspected imported cases, with 5 confirmed as of December 2010.
Based on models of previous cholera spread, the researchers estimate that up to 200,000 cases could arise in the Caribbean in the next 18 months.
On February 4, The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) distributed its final “situation report” on issues covering Haiti’s cholera epidemic. With the end of the rainy season, new cases of cholera seem to be stabilizing, but the overall toll is staggering—220, 784 cases and 4,334 deaths—since the outbreak began in October 2010. A total of 400,000 cases are predicted within the first twelve months of the epidemic. We are now in month five.
Most disturbing, OCHA reports that several non-governmental “charity” organizations (NGOs) are about to reduce their activities relating to clean water and sanitation “because of a lack of funding or to focus on longer term strategies.” The problem is that, once introduced into an ecosystem, the cholera bacterium will not go away, even if the relief organizations do so.
The Haitian epidemic does appear to be stabilizing some as daily cases drop by three quarters this week.
The number of new cases has fallen from a high of 4,000 per day in mid December to less than 1,000 per day. The number of deaths per day has fallen, as well, from over 120 per day to fewer than 10.
In other news, Big Pharma quantified the growing US fear of disease in a New Jersey state poll that gave the following results. Consider the source and that it’s just the general population’s opinions according to this survey.
94% say infectious diseases like the flu, tuberculosis and SARS will pose some level of threat to the U.S. in the next few years, and 79% say Americans should worry about diseases like malaria, dengue fever and cholera that mostly affect poorer countries.
It’s not contained in Haiti any longer. In developed countries it’s easier to contain and treat, but it’s nothing to joke about. We’re safe because we have the grid and the infrastructure to protect us. If that ever falls we’re screwed like the rest. The CDC shows an average of 8 cases a year in the US from 2005-2010.