Haitian cholera spreads to Canada

A case of cholera originating in Haiti was recently confirmed in Montreal, Canada.

At the beginning of January, a woman was admitted into St. Luc hospital with severe diarrhea, according to She was placed in isolation after doctors heard she had recently been to Haiti. The woman was given antibiotics, rehydrated and released several days later. A few days afterward, her tests came back positive for cholera.

"There is no danger of retransmission in Quebec," Stéphanie Ménard, a spokesperson for the province's public health agency, said, according to "Unlike gastroenteritis or the flu, which can be spread through particles in the air, cholera is transmitted though tainted water or food. In a hygienic place like Quebec or Canada, transmission is unlikely."

The last recorded instance of cholera in Quebec was in 2007, but it is unclear from where it originated. There have only been 27 cases of the disease in Canada since 1986, according to

In Haiti, a cholera epidemic that began in October 2010 has infected 200,000 people and killed over 4,000. Although the disease stayed mostly in Haiti, it spread to the Dominican Republic, where at least 300 people have gotten sick. The Dominican government has begun deporting thousands of Haitians back to Haiti in response.

In Venezuela, at least 135 people are believed to have been infected by cholera at a wedding in the Dominican Republic. Tainted lobster is thought to have been the cause.