Cholera outbreak in Cuba
Cholera outbreak in Cuba
Posted date: September 03, 2013
The Ministry of Health and Public Health Officials are urging travelers
to Cuba to take measures to prevent cholera following confirmation of a
renewed outbreak of the disease in Cuba.
As at 23 August 2013,163 cholera cases have been confirmed in the
provinces of Havana, Santiago de Cuba, and Camaguey, as well as other
municipalities, where cases were found to be associated with these three
The National International Health Regulation (IHR) focal point of Cuba
also noted that, following the outbreak recorded in early 2013, cholera
cases are analysed regularly.
For as long as the cholera outbreak in Cuba continues, Acting Medical
Officer of Health, Dr Samuel Williams, has issued an updated travel
advisory. This states that while there are no travel restrictions to
Cuba, travellers to that country, as well as to Haiti and the Dominican
Republic, which are also affected by outbreaks, are advised to be aware
of the basic cholera facts and to observe basic cholera prevention
recommendations of: frequent hand-washing and using food and water which
are known to be safe (see guidelines below).
Dr Williams also reminds residents that cholera is not present in the
Cayman Islands and there is no threat of its occurrence, as the islands
have modern water and sewage treatment systems.
“Nevertheless we ask anyone who has travelled to Cuba, Haiti and the
Dominican Republic to contact their doctor immediately should they
develop watery diarrhoea and vomiting within five days of leaving. It is
also important to state their travel history to their doctor,” he advised.
To ensure readiness the Public Health Department called a multi-agency
preparedness meeting on Thursday, 29 August 2013.
During this meeting, Minister of Health the Hon. Osbourne Bodden said,
“I am impressed by the preparations and applaud Public Health Officials
and healthcare professionals, as well as all other relevant
stakeholders, for their pro-active efforts to detect and manage any
imported cholera cases.”
For more information on cholera please call the Public Health Department
Tips for Prevention
Travellers to Cuba can greatly reduce the risk of contracting the
disease by following these practices:
• Drink only bottled, boiled or chemically-treated water and/or bottled
or canned beverages.
• Ensure that seals are unbroken when using bottled drinks.
• Disinfect your own water: boil for one minute or filter the water and
add two drops of household bleach or half an iodine tablet per litre of
• Use bottled, boiled or chemically-treated water to wash dishes and
• Use ice in your drink only if you know it was made from boiled or
• Wash your hands often with soap and clean water.
• Clean your hands before you eat or prepare foods, and after using the
• Eat foods that have been thoroughly cooked and are still hot, or fruit
that you have peeled yourself.
• Cook all vegetables. Do not eat salads or other raw vegetables.
• Do not buy food or beverages from street vendors.
Source: “Cholera outbreak in Cuba – Cayman Net News” –