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US officials issue cholera warning for Cuba

The US Interests Section in Havana, Cuba issued a “security message” for US citizens residing in or traveling to the  island, concerning the risks of cholera, which has been identified in the capital of Havana.

Officials say the presence of the bacterium in Havana may  possibly linked to a reported outbreak of cholera in eastern Cuba.

Image/CIA

Image/CIA

“We urge you to follow public health recommendations and guidelines, such as safe food and water precautions and frequent hand washing to help prevent cholera infection. The Cuban Ministry of Public Health is urging people to comply with sanitary measures associated with personal hygiene, water and food”, the advisory notes.

Last week, The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) released a cholera update for several areas of the Caribbean, including Cuba.

The report states, in early 2013, the National IHR Focal Point of Cuba reported that by January 14, there were 51 confirmed cases of cholera in an outbreak in Havana, related to food handling. Previously, a total of 47 cholera cases had been reported, following Hurricane Sandy, in the provinces of Camaguey, Guantanamo and Santiago de Cuba. All cases were characterized as Vibrio cholerae toxigenic serogroup O1, serotype Ogawa, biotype El Tor.

In addition, in the past several weeks, there has been five cases (Italy (1), Venezuela (2) and Chile (2)) of cholera reported, all related to travel to Cuba.

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Eating or drinking fecally contaminated food or water is the main risk factor. Unsterilized water, food from street vendors, raw fish dishes (e.g. ceviche) and inadequately cooked (e.g. steamed) shellfish are common sources of infection.

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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    […] in the region, Cuba has reported a total of 678 confirmed cholera cases; however, no new cases have been […]

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    […] days after the US Interests Section in Havana, Cuba issued a “security message” for US citizens residing in or traveling to the  island due to a cholera outbreak, the Pan American Health […]

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