Cholera shows up in Florida, right on cue
November 18, 2010, 03:01 PM
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Right on cue, as predicted in my blog on the arrival of dengue fever in Florida:

A Collier County woman is Florida's first documented case of cholera imported from Haiti. The woman, who lives in southwest Florida, had been visiting family in the region of the earthquake-devastated nation that is at the center of its cholera epidemic.

Florida reports case of cholera imported from Haiti, by Letitia Stein, St. Petersburg Times, November 18, 2010.

"Collier County woman", needless to say = Haitian immigrant

Also right on cue, public health officials are now obviously trying to downplay the seriousness of the threat, in contrast to the alarm I reported earlier:

"We really don't anticipate that we will see any sustained transmission caused by Haiti in Florida or anywhere else in the United States," [Dr. Thomas]Torok [of the Florida Department of Health's bureau of epidemiology] said. "The risk is so low because our water and sanitation systems really minimize the risk to folks."

Which no doubt explains this pregnant sentence:

The state is investigating suspected cases, but Torok would not say more about them.

Another report this morning puts that "low" risk in perspective:

[Warren] McDougle [an epidemiologist with the Hillsborough County Health Department] says "if the persons coming back happen to work in the food industry, we would have special concern there," since transmitting the disease to larger groups of people could then be more possible.

Cholera and Dengue Fever: State health officials issue warnings of two diseases, by Eric Glasser, Channel 10 News-WTSP.com, November 18 2010.

Of course, the food industry is exactly where Haitians immigrants work.

The risk may be "low" but that will be no comfort to any unfortunate American who dies.

Of course, when that happens, it won't be reported.