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Cholera in Cuba (Update)

13 Jul 2012

The number of confirmed cases of cholera in the outbreak in Granma province, eastern Cuba has increased to 85. Suspected cholera cases have been unofficially reported in Caimanera, a village close to the  Guantanamo US naval base. A further 5 unofficial suspected cholera cases have been reported in the capital Havana.

The number of suspected cholera cases in Granma has risen from 332 to 346 and cases of diarrhoeal illness in the area has risen from 3422 to 3998. Most cases have been recorded in Manzanillo and the provincial capital, Bayamo. Cases have also been reported in the nearby municipalities of Niquero, Yara and Bartolome situated along the southern coast of Cuba; around 415 miles east of Havana.

The source of the outbreak has not been confirmed although contaminated wells are suspected. Many healthcare workers from Cuba worked in Haiti during the ongoing cholera outbreak there.

Advice for Travellers

Cholera risk outwith the outbreak area is negligible for travellers. Travellers to outbreak areas should discuss their risk with a healthcare professional who can advise on the possible use of the vaccine. Travellers to outbreak areas who will be mixing closely with the local population, and cannot ensure safe drinking water, can be immunised against cholera.

All travellers should practise strict food and water hygiene and wash their hands frequently, especially before eating.