Sunday, June 16, 2024

Health Ministry issues cholera alert following outbreak in Haiti

The federal government has advised health care facilities to be on the lookout for cases of cholera due to an outbreak of the disease in Haiti.

Citing the Pan American Health Organization’s report of a cholera outbreak in the Caribbean country, the Health Ministry said Thursday that the government had issued an “epidemiological notice” advising all “health units” to be alert to symptoms of the bacterial disease in people who have recently been in Haiti.

Fleeing poverty, violence and political uncertainty, large numbers of Haitians have come to Mexico in recent years.

The Pan American Health Organization said Thursday that it was “working closely with Haitian public health authorities and international partners to support the country’s response to the recent cholera outbreak.”

“After more than three years without reported cases, Haiti first confirmed on 2 October two cases of Vibrio cholerae O1. In an update on 5 October, national authorities confirmed 11 cases, including two deaths, and a total 111 cases under investigation in various communes around Port-au-Prince,” it said.

The United Nations said Thursday that seven cholera-related deaths had been confirmed in Haiti, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.

In a statement, the Health Ministry said that Mexico’s national network of public health laboratories has “complete diagnostic capacities” and that the National System of Epidemiological Vigilance is “attentive to the presence of people with symptoms compatible with the disease.”

“Cholera is an acute diarrheal disease caused by the ingestion of food or water contaminated with Vibrio cholerae,” the ministry added, noting also that it can be lethal if not treated promptly.

The epidemiological notice said that the first cholera case detected in Mexico occurred in rural México state in 1991.

“The cholera epidemic lasted for 10 years, affecting 97% of [Mexico’s] territory,” the notice said, adding that just over 45,000 cases were recorded and that the mortality rate was 1.12 per 100 cases.

There have been additional outbreaks in Mexico over the past decade, including one in 2013 in which almost 200 people were infected — mainly in Hidalgo — but no cholera cases have been detected in the country since 2019.

Mexico News Daily 

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