Cholera in Haiti and other Caribbean regions, 19th century

Emerg Infect Dis. 2011 Nov;17(11):2130-5. doi: 10.3201/eid1711.110958.


Medical journals and other sources do not show evidence that cholera occurred in Haiti before 2010, despite the devastating effect of this disease in the Caribbean region in the 19th century. Cholera occurred in Cuba in 1833-1834; in Jamaica, Cuba, Puerto Rico, St. Thomas, St. Lucia, St. Kitts, Nevis, Trinidad, the Bahamas, St. Vincent, Granada, Anguilla, St. John, Tortola, the Turks and Caicos, the Grenadines (Carriacou and Petite Martinique), and possibly Antigua in 1850-1856; and in Guadeloupe, Cuba, St. Thomas, the Dominican Republic, Dominica, Martinique, and Marie Galante in 1865-1872. Conditions associated with slavery and colonial military control were absent in independent Haiti. Clustered populations, regular influx of new persons, and close quarters of barracks living contributed to spread of cholera in other Caribbean locations. We provide historical accounts of the presence and spread of cholera epidemics in Caribbean islands.

Publication types

  • Historical Article

MeSH terms

  • Caribbean Region / epidemiology
  • Cholera / epidemiology
  • Cholera / history*
  • Haiti / epidemiology
  • History, 19th Century
  • Humans