The Cuban Ministry of Health has confirmed the first cholera outbreak in Cuba in more than a century.
As of July 31, 2012, 236 confirmed cases and 3 deaths have been reported in the cities of Manzanillo, Bayamo, Yara, and Campechuela Niquero in Granma Province. Currently, cases are limited to Granma Province, mostly in Manzanillo.
According to the Cuban Ministry of Public Health, control measures have been implemented, including public awareness campaigns and efforts to ensure safe drinking water and to improve environmental sanitation.
All cases have been treated at medical clinics, polyclinics, or the Manzanillo General Hospital and Pediatric Hospital. The health facilities have the capacity to attend the cases rapidly and there has been no overcrowding; there has been no impact on health services.
The outbreak has remained confined to the initial area and no extension or dissemination has occurred in the rest of the country.
Cholera is a bacterial disease that can cause diarrhea and dehydration. Cholera is most often spread through eating contaminated food or drinking contaminated water. Water may be contaminated by the feces of an infected person or by untreated sewage. Food may be contaminated by water containing cholera bacteria or by being handled by a person ill with cholera.