Haiti's Capitol Area Remains Cholera Hot Spot
The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) recently reported that since the initial cholera cases (Vibrio cholerae O1) in the greater Port-au-Prince area in October 2022, the Haitian Ministry of Health has reported a total of 24,232 suspected cases and 483 registered fatalities.
As of January 14, 2023, the Ouest Department, which includes the municipalities of Port-au-Prince, Cité-Soleil, and Carrefour, continues to report the highest number of cases, with 67% (N=10,836) of all suspected cases reported.
During a similar time frame, a total of 19 confirmed cases have been reported in the Dominican Republic (DR), with five of them imported from Haiti.
In a press release on January 15, 2023, the DR's Ministry of Public Health urged residents not to be alarmed and to remain attentive to the issued reports.
The latest PAHO risk assessment of the Cholera event in La Hispaniola Island (Haiti and the Dominican Republic) assesses the event as very high risk locally, moderate at the regional level, and low at the global level.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stated in 2022, vaccination may be considered for children and adults traveling to areas of active cholera transmission.
As of January 2023, cholera vaccines remain unavailable in the U.S.
Cholera is rare in travelers but can be severe. Certain factors may increase the risk of getting cholera or having severe disease. The CDC says avoiding unsafe food and water and washing your hands can also help prevent cholera.
Furthermore, the U.S. Department of Stated announced in December 2022 do not travel to Haiti due to civil unrest. U.S. citizens should depart Haiti now in light of the current security and health situation and infrastructure challenges.
Furthermore, clinicians should be prepared to treat cholera cases in travelers returning to the U.S. in 2023.