by Kathy Jones on  February 1, 2011 at 8:09 PM General Health News
 135 Being Treated for Cholera in Venezuela
Around 135 people have been treated for cholera in Venezuela after they were infected at a wedding in the Dominican Republic, officials have confirmed.

"At the moment we have not had a single case of someone being contaminated in Venezuela," Health Minister Eugenia Sader told Globovision.

Authorities have said those being treated were part of a group of 452 Venezuelans who traveled to the Dominican Republic for a wedding earlier this month, and Sader said the government has been calling them "one by one."

Besides the cholera patients in Caracas, another 12 Venezuelans infected with the bacteria were still in the Dominican Republic and four others traveled on to Spain, Mexico and the United States.

The government has called on all the guests to report for testing even if they are showing no signs of the diarrheal disease, and has been warning the general public through media advertisements and a hygiene campaign.

Venezuela has had no cholera in a decade, and health officials have emphasized that it is crucial to gain control of the outbreak in the first 24 to 48 hours to prevent the imported bacteria from becoming established here.

Although treatable, the potentially fatal disease can strike swiftly, causing intense diarrhea, vomiting and nausea that leads to severe dehydration.

The Dominican Republic shares a porous border with Haiti, where more than 4,000 people have died and 209,000 have been infected in a cholera epidemic since October.

Only one person is reported to have died of cholera in the Dominican Republic, which said last week that 238 people had been infected.

At Venezuela's international airport, authorities have been monitoring the entry of passengers, asking them to fill out questionnaires.

Source: AFP

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