Miami-Dade already has cases of hookworm and dengue fever, and now health officials are investigating the possibility that a man with cholera might have entered the county. According to the Miami Herald, a doctor traveling from Haiti arrived at Miami International Airport around 6 p.m. yesterday and reported he might be suffering from the bacterial infection.
Unsanitary conditions in camps following the earthquake in Haiti have led to an outbreak of the disease in the island country. Cholera has killed at least 1,300 people, and as many as 200,000 might be infected by February.
The unnamed doctor had been treating patients in Haiti and believes he might have contracted the disease. Health officials had warned of the possibility of cholera spreading to Miami-Dade through travel.
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So far, neither the U.S. Centers for Disease Control or the Florida Department of Health can confirm the case. Two previous cases have already been confirmed in other parts of Florida in recent months.
Cholera is caused by a bacterial infection of the small intestine and leads to profuse diarrhea and vomiting. While relatively rare in developed countries, the contagious disease affects millions of people a year worldwide and is responsible for about 100,000 annual deaths.
Left untreated, the disease is highly fatal, but when it's treated quickly, the survival rate is greater than 99 percent.
[Herald: Airport may be suffering from cholera]