Dominican Republic reports rise in cholera cases

Health officials in the Dominican Republic have reported five new cases of cholera - three of them in Banica, which lies near the border of Haiti - and believe that the disease is making its way inland from Haiti.

Approximately 90,000 Haitans are currently believed to be infected with cholera while 2,000 having died from the disease, Fox News Latino reports. An earlier report in November investigated whether or not up to 14 additional citizens of the Dominican Republic had come down with the disease.

Health officials have been going from house to house to check on symptoms like diarrhea to ensure that the disease is quickly contained. Cholera had been absent from Latin America for decades before the 1990s until it became an epidemic in Peru before spreading to other nearby countries.

While the Center for Disease Control says that cholera risk for travelers to the Dominican Republic is low if precautions are taken, they suggest bringing a travel kit, including water purification tablets, oral rehydration salts and a prescription antibiotic, to treat and prevent cholera, Fox News Latino reports.

Using the Latin American epidemic from the 1990s as a model, health experts believe that the Haiti epidemic could cause cholera cases to continue to surface for months if not for several years.