SANTO DOMINGO – The Dominican Republic on Sunday confirmed that a 53-year-old Haitian man has become the country’s first death from cholera and announced the immediate start of a broad disease control and monitoring operation in the area where he died.
The local Public Health Ministry determined that the tests performed on the body of Renauld Francois confirmed that he had died of cholera.
The ministry said that Francois’s death occurred last Friday in Higuey, the main municipality of the province of La Altagracia, a main tourist area in the far eastern part of the country.
“Because the case occurred our personnel launched epidemiological vigilance and control activities in the area where the victim lived, without so far other cases having been detected,” said the ministry in a statement.
Francois died at his home in the Florida neighborhood of Higuey, according to what one of his nine children told local media, adding that his father worked in San Francisco de Macoris in the northeast, in the construction industry and had not traveled to Haiti for the past nine years.
Dominican health authorities have confirmed more than 200 cholera cases in the nation that shares the Caribbean island of Hispaniola with Haiti, where almost 4,000 people have died from the disease since it appeared there last October.