Dominican Republic cholera outbreak hospitalizes 60

A suspected outbreak of cholera in the Dominican Republic has lead to the hospitalization of at least 60 people.

The Ministry of Public Health has taken emergency measures in the town of Santiago de los Caballeros in an attempt to halt the illness before it spreads further, reports.

The Deputy Minister of Public Health, Jose Rodriguez Aybar, said that the entire area was seized by the health department, which is conducting a series of prevention measures and education efforts. Chlorine is being delivered to the area in an attempt to disinfect local water.

The outbreak is believed to be several weeks old based on the onset of symptoms in those affected.

Luis Emilio Feliz Roa, the Dominican Director of Environmental Health, said that the outbreak was sparked by poor handling of water supplies in people's homes. For this reason, he said, authorities plan to distribute chlorine in tankers and plastic tanks to local residents, according to

Roa also said that efforts are being made to ensure that the area has access to a permanent and clean water supply.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned that, while cholera cases in the Dominican Republic have fallen overall since the 2010 outbreak, it expects the number of cases to rise with the onset of the rainy season.