| Updated at: 1120 PST, Thursday, November 18, 2010|
WASHINGTON: A woman who recently visited relatives in Haiti has become the first person known to bring cholera into Florida from the Caribbean nation, the state's health department said Wednesday.
"We have laboratory confirmation in fact that she has the strain that is affecting Haiti," Florida Department of Health spokesman Rob Hayes said by phone. "She has been treated and is going well," Hayes added.
The woman has not been identified, but resides in Collier county on Florida's southwest coast. Hayes declined to say whether she remains hospitalized.
The state has also been in contact with its county governments to brief them on how to respond if suspected cases are being investigated, Hayes said.
Local Florida media have reported that the woman's family live in the Artibonite Valley, the source of Haiti's cholera outbreak which has now claimed some 1,100 lives and sickened over 18,300 people.
Florida officials have already been urged to test people quickly if they show signs of cholera as the state has a large number of about 240,000 Haitian-born residents and many of them travel back and forth to Haiti.