Sunday, January 30, 2011

Venezuela's health minister said that 37 people have been treated for cholera in the South American nation

The confirmed cases were among a group of 452 people who attended a family gathering in the Dominican Republic, said Eugenia Sader, Venezuela's minister of health. Others who attended the party were urged to get tested for the intestinal disease, which can prove fatal within hours if left untreated. Sader said in October 2010, when the cholera outbreak erupted in Haiti, that the last case of cholera in Venezuela was reported in 1991. In addition to the 37 cases in Venezuela, 12 others who attended the family party are in the Dominican Republic; one in Mexico; two in Madrid, Spain; and one in Boston. Almost 4,000 people have died in Haiti from cholera and almost 200,000 have been sickened. The Dominican Republic has reported 244 cases. A man of Haitian descent died in the province of Altagracia. Cholera, an intestinal infection caused by ingestion of bacteria-contaminated food or water, causes watery diarrhea and vomiting, which can quickly lead to severe dehydration and death if not treated promptly. The disease is one of the leading causes of death in the world, particularly in developing countries. There are an estimated 3 million to 5 million cholera cases and 100,000 to 120,000 deaths every year worldwide.

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