In an impressive display of microorganisms ignoring political borders, rhetoric and social class, a south Asian strain of cholera suspected to have originated with Nepalese United Nations peacekeepers stationed in central Haiti is thought to have contaminated lobsters collected served at a lavish wedding at a luxury resort in the Dominican Republic and sickened many guests.
Dozens of international guests at a family celebration – some reports said it was a wedding – were stricken with vomiting and diarrhea after eating apparently contaminated lobster.
Dominican health officials said that at least 37 of the 500 guests at Casa de Campo, a five-star complex in the Dominican Republic, had tested positive for cholera, including Fernando Hazoury, whose family owns a separate luxury resort, and guests from Spain, Mexico and the U.S.
The health minister, Bautista Rojas, said lobsters for last Saturday’s wedding came from Pedernales, a town bordering Haiti, where about 3,800 have died and 189,000 fallen ill since October.
Venezuelan Health Minister Eugenia Sader said Friday that 111 people went to the hospital to be checked for cholera after attending the wedding.
Authorities were still trying to locate the rest of the 452 Venezuelans who traveled to the Dominican Republic for the January 22 wedding.