Cuba cholera outbreak contained so far: official
HAVANA, (Reuters) - A cholera outbreak in Cuba blamed for at least three deaths has been mostly contained so far to the eastern city of Manzanillo and surrounding towns, with just a few scattered cases confirmed elsewhere in the country, a public health official told Reuters yesterday.
The official, with daily access to information on efforts to control the outbreak, and who asked that her name not be used, said that along with the three confirmed deaths there were two suspected ones, all in the Manzanillo area.
There have been reports that at least 15 people had died and the illness had spread to other parts of Cuba, but she said that was not true.
Current cases of the disease may stem from someone travelling from Haiti, where there is a cholera epidemic, the official said.
““We have diagnosed one case in Havana, another in central Camaguey and a few others around the country, and all these people had been in the Manzanillo area,” she said, adding that other potential cases were under observation.
Residents traveling by public transportation from Granma province, where Manzanillo is located, are being checked before departure and upon arrival at their destination, then followed by the country’s vast network of community-based doctors, the official explained.
Cholera is generally not fatal but can kill in just a few hours when diarrhea and vomiting cause dehydration, especially among the elderly.
The official said the illness runs its course within a week, making it relatively easy to track. She said the reports of inflated death tolls and a spreading outbreak may be a result of Cuba’s cautious approach to the situation.