New cholera cases reported

HAVANA, Cuba– Cuba has reported that a total of 12 tourists and 151 nationals have contracted cholera in recent months.

According to the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) 163 cases were reported in the provinces of Havana, Santiago de Cuba and Camagüey.

In a statement, PAHO said among those cases were 12 persons who travelled to Cuba from other countries – three from Italy, two each from Germany, Spain, Chile and Venezuela and one from the Netherlands.

Havana had reported 47 cholera cases after Hurricane Sandy swept over the eastern part of the island in October, and another 51 cases in the province of Havana at the beginning of this year.

“Per the information received, Cuba continues to develop and implement cholera prevention and control plans, to strengthen awareness of preventive measures by the public, to control food preparations sites, and carry out epidemiological surveillance of acute diarrheal diseases,” PAHO said.

“Public health awareness campaigns were intensified during the summer season; particularly those related to hand washing, chlorinated water intake, safe food preparation (and) washing of fruits and vegetables,” it added.

According to the Miami Herald, Cholera reappeared in Cuba last summer, after a 100-year absence, with the return of Cuban medical personnel who had worked in Haiti where an epidemic has killed more than 8,200 people since 2010.

Havana has confirmed only three deaths on the island, although independent journalists have reported dozens more.