HEALTH

Cholera in Dominican Republic Has Killed 14, Spreads to Most of Country

A 6-months pregnant Marlene Herrera, 22, rests on her bed after being discharged from a hospital where she was treated of cholera, in the La Cienega slum in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Tuesday May 17, 2011. A wave of new cholera cases, with two deaths in recent days, has prompted the Dominican health authorities to declare a state of alert in 17 neighborhoods in the capital. The disease had not been detected in the country until after the outbreak in neighboring Haiti in October 2010 when fourteen people died and 750 were infected. (AP Photo/Manuel Diaz)

A 6-months pregnant Marlene Herrera, 22, rests on her bed after being discharged from a hospital where she was treated of cholera, in the La Cienega slum in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Tuesday May 17, 2011. A wave of new cholera cases, with two deaths in recent days, has prompted the Dominican health authorities to declare a state of alert in 17 neighborhoods in the capital. The disease had not been detected in the country until after the outbreak in neighboring Haiti in October 2010 when fourteen people died and 750 were infected. (AP Photo/Manuel Diaz)  (AP2011)

The cholera epidemic is making a big comeback in the Dominican Republic – with hundreds of new cases of the disease, which has now spread to most of the country.

Deputy Health Minister Jose Rodriguez says there have been 1,143 cases of cholera and 14 deaths since the outbreak began in November. The number of new cases reported Monday is up about 50 percent since the middle of May.

The Dominican physicians' union says cases have been confirmed in 28 of the country's 32 provinces. The situation may worsen with the onset of the hurricane season in June.

Cholera was detected in the Dominican Republic after an outbreak in neighboring Haiti, which shares the island of Hispaniola with the DR, in October. There have been 266,000 cases and nearly 5,000 deaths in Haiti.

Health officials have poured millions into anti-cholera efforts in order to prevent the spread of the water-borne illness, which is spread through contaminated rivers and tainted food.

Based on reporting by The Associated Press.

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