Florida cholera case linked to Haiti outbreak

A southwest Florida woman who had contracted cholera was officially linked to the Haiti outbreak by health officials on Wednesday.

The woman had visited family in a region currently experiencing the cholera epidemic, the New York Times reports.

The Florida Department of Health does not believe that the several other cases of cholera reported elsewhere in the state are connected to the verified patient’s case, according to The New York Times.

The woman sought treatment at a hospital in Collier County, Florida, staying five days after experiencing symptoms of cholera-like diarrhea and dehydration. The woman is expected to fully recover.

“We are lucky in the state of Florida, and the U.S. generally, to have a very sound infrastructure for our food, water, and sewage,” Rob Hayes, spokesman for the Florida Department of Health, said, according to the New York Times. “With that in place, and with our aggressive public health practices, we are not concerned about this being a significant public health threat.”

Florida is home to at least 250,000 people of Haitian descent, many of whom  travel to and from Haiti. A large number of aid workers also depart Florida for the island nation.

The Florida Department of Health issued an advisory warning to medical professionals to prepare them for early treatment of potential cholera symptoms.

Because of better sanitation in the U.S., the health department says the disease is unlikely to spread, the New York Times reports.