By Café Fuerte
HAVANA TIMES – Cuba is currently facing the fourth outbreak of cholera in the last year, with 163 people infected in three provinces of the island, including 12 tourists.
A report by the Pan American Health Organization and World Health Organization (PAHO-WHO) released Tuesday, notes that Cuban health authorities confirmed “163 cases of cholera in the provinces of Havana, Santiago de Cuba, Havana, as well as in other municipalities but associated with these three provinces.”
No deaths have been reported, according to the statement.
The information reveals the existence of three continuous outbreaks of cholera in Cuba since a statement from the Ministry of Health (Ministry of Public Health), published in the Cuban press on July 3rd that admitted the existence of an outbreak in the eastern part of the island. The existence of the epidemic was previously reported by the independent press.
Cuban health authorities have still not informed the Cuban population about the existence of this fourth outbreak. However before the current epidemic was recognized to the PAHO, the situation was simply described as an increase in “acute diarrhea” in the country.
The outbreak last year, which mainly affected the cities of Manzanillo and Bayamo, of Granma province, was officially terminated on August 28, 2012.
Among the cases in the report on the latest outbreak, dated August 23, there are 12 tourists (eight men and four women) from Germany (2), Chile (2), Spain (2), Netherlands (1), Italy (3) and Venezuela (2).
According to the statement, the most recent infestation occurred in Havana through “two centers of food outlets, where they found the presence of asymptomatic carriers among food handlers” said the note. The causes of the infestation in the other provinces was not specified.
When analyzing the epidemiological situation in the region, the report refers only to cases of cholera in Haiti, Dominican Republic and Cuba.
Last week, the United States issued a cholera alert for those who are traveling to Cuba [telling people to abide by the precautions from the Cuban health authorities].