Sep 172012

The 1991-96 cholera epidemic in Mexico originated in Peru in January 1991. It quickly spread northwards, reaching Central America by March and Mexico by July (see map). The cholera epidemic then spread slowly across Mexico before abating.

The spread of cholera in Mexico, 1991-1996

The spread of cholera in Mexico, 1991-1996 (Geo-Mexico Fig 18-6)

The incidence of cholera was much higher in the Gulf coast states than either inland or along the Pacific coast. By the time the epidemic was over in 1996, more than 43,500 cases had been reported in Mexico and 524 people had died.

Main Source:

PAHO 1997 (Pan American Health Organization) Cholera Situation in the Americas 1996, Epidemiological Bulletin, vol 18 (1)

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  One Response to “The 1991-1996 cholera epidemic in Mexico”

  1. I was working for an NGO in Lima Peru in November/December 1990 when my host took me to eat ceviche. Not 30 minutes later we all began to feel sick I spent an embarrassing week with severe diarrhea surviving by eating a watery gruel of boiled bananas and oatmeal with lashings of salt and sugar.
    The President. of Peru Alberto Fujimori was on TV filmed eating ceviche and pronouncing it safe; though as I returned to Lima in january 1991 I’m not sure if he was on TV in 1990 or 1991.

    However the epidemic began in 1990 in Lima and was, i think(from memory), thought to be the result of an infected south Asian ship’s crew who’s fecal matter contaminated the harbour where the ceviche I and I imagine thousands of others ate originated.
    There was in December, as you can imagine, a lot of movement from the capital to surrounding villages as workers went home to visit family etc.

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