Collective Prevention Services (CPS), a department in the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labor (Ministry VSA), has taken note of a Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) epidemiological alert concerning the resurgence of cholera in Haiti.
Due to the fact that cholera is not endemic to Sint Maarten, CPS would urge travellers that do travel to cholera endemic countries to always take precautionary measures, such as: drink and use safe water, wash hands with soap and safe water, and to cook food thoroughly.
It has been three years with no cases of cholera reported in Haiti, however, on October 2, the Haiti national authorities reported two confirmed cases in the greater Port-au-Prince area.
In addition, clusters of suspected cases and deaths are under investigation in various communes.
PAHO has requested Member States to strengthen their surveillance systems for the timely detection of cholera cases and for outbreaks of acute diarrheal disease.
Cholera is an acute diarrhoeal disease that affects both children and adults and can kill within hours if left untreated. The infection is ingested by food or water contaminated. It has a short incubation period of two hours to five days. Up to 80 per cent of cases can be successfully treated with oral rehydration salts.
If it is necessary to travel to Haiti, travellers are cautioned to adhere to stringent hygiene measures.
Ensure that you take precautions such as hygienic food preparation, boiling or purifying all water, and washing hands often with soap and clean water. Carry with you at all times hand sanitizer.
Symptoms can occur within 24 to 48 hours of being infected with the cholera causing bacteria. Cholera symptoms are generally mild; they include diarrhoea, vomiting, and muscle cramps. About one infected person out of 20 has severe signs and symptoms, such as increased heart rate, dehydration, and shock.
If you have recently travelled and you experience any of the abovementioned symptoms, please contact your family physician immediately and CPS.
Cholera can be predicted, prevented, and treated. Help us keep Sint Maarten Cholera Free!
For more information call CPS at 914 or 542-1570 or email email@example.com