HEALTH

Cholera Cases Jump to 111 in Venezuela After Casa de Campo Wedding

After a lavish Dominican wedding served contaminated food that sickened dozens with cholera, the number of cholera cases in Venezuela jumped to 111, Venezuela’s health minister said Friday.

The patients were all receiving treatment, and 27 of them were hospitalized, Health Minister Eugenia Sader told the Caracas-based television network Telesur.

The number of cases rose swiftly on Friday. Venezuelan authorities had said a day earlier that 37 people had the virus in the country and that 12 others were hospitalized in the Dominican Republic.

Dominican officials said guests became infected when they ate contaminated lobster at a wedding on Jan. 22 in the exclusive community of Casa de Campo. Dominican Health Minister Bautista Rojas said lobsters for the wedding were bought in Pedernales, a town bordering Haiti, where more than 3,000 people have died from a cholera epidemic.

Many of the 452 people invited to the wedding were Venezuelans, and health officials hope to provide treatment to all of them to keep the illness from spreading, Sader said. She has said that four wedding guests who returned to Madrid, Spain; Mexico, and Boston also have cholera.

Sader urged all Venezuelans who attended the wedding to contact health authorities and receive treatment.

The bacterial disease, spread through contaminated water and food, has sickened tens of thousands of people in Haiti since October and 238 on the other side of the border. Symptoms include water bowel movements and vomiting.

Based on reporting by The Associated Press.

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