Photo: Cuba Cholera Cases Reach 85 and May Rise
At least 85 cases of cholera have been confirmed in Cuba and three people have died since the outbreak was detected, officials of the Pan American Health Organization told Efe on Tuesday.
The figures match those announced by Cuban state epidemiologist Ana Maria Batista Gonzalez.
For its part, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention make no mention of cholera nor recommend vaccination against the disease in their warnings to travelers going to Cuba.
A doctor in the eastern Cuban city of Manzanillo, cited Tuesday in Miami’s El Nuevo Herald newspaper, attributed to the epidemiologist Batista the number of 346 possible cases of cholera and of 3,998 people suffering from vomiting and diarrhea.
The same daily mentioned a dissident in Bayamo who said that “he had heard reports of five deaths,” and an independent journalist in Havana who said that as many as 15 people had died.
The last cholera epidemic in Cuba occurred in 1882, while a previous one followed the fall of the dictator Fulgencio Batista in 1959.
Hundreds of Cubans have worked and continue working with cholera patients in Haiti, where people in their tens of thousands contracted the disease after the 2010 earthquake. Among the Cubans who have worked in Haiti are hundreds of doctors and nurses from Granma province, scene of the current outbreak.
The director of Melia Hotels International in Cuba, Gabriel Canaves, in a message posted on the Web site Preferente.com, said that “it’s all under control” and that “Cuban doctors are the best professionals in the world.”
Melia, Blau Hotels, Iberostar and H10 are some of the Spanish hotel chains operating in Cuba whose business, according to Preferente.com, has not suffered in any way as a result of the cholera outbreak.