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Latino Daily News

Tuesday January 15, 2013

Cholera Outbreak Reported in Havana

Cholera Outbreak Reported in Havana

Photo: Cholera in Cuba

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The Cuban government said Tuesday that up to 51 cases of cholera have been confirmed in this capital as a result of the outbreak detected at the beginning of January, but noted that the contagion of the disease “is on the point of extinction.”

The Public Health Ministry said in a communique that early this month “an increase of severe diarrhetic diseases” was detected in several Havana municipalities, and “a group of those patients showed symptoms and signs that raised…a suspicion of cholera.”

Subsequent testing confirmed 51 cases of cholera, said the official note, which did not mention any fatalities.

Cuba has “all the means and resources necessary” to apply its anticholera plan and “as a result of the measures adopted, the infection is on the point of extinction,” the ministry said.

Epidemiological evaluations determined that the contagion in Havana came from a food vendor who was an asymptomatic carrier of the illness, which he contracted during the cholera outbreaks that appeared in other regions of the island in 2012.

Last August the government considered the cholera outbreak finished that had caused three deaths and 417 confirmed cases on the eastern part of the island.

In recent days bloggers warned of a new outbreak in the capital.

Last July President Raul Castro denounced “propaganda campaigns” that he said were using the cholera outbreak to “discredit” Cuba’s healthcare system.

The last cholera epidemic in Cuba occurred in 1882 and the last cases took place soon after the ouster of strongman Fulgencio Batista in 1959, according to official reports.