QUESTION: We are scheduled to be in Havana on Jan 25th for 2 days. Then off to Viñales and Trinidad before we spend our last 4 days back in Havana, Feb 2-5. We are seriously thinking about aborting this trip due to the cholera outbreak and the uncertainty of the political situation upon Chavez’ possible death. Can you give me any good reasons why we should ignore the warning signs? We really want to visit Cuba and have spent much time learning the history. And looking forward to the people, music and architecture.
ANSWER: Cholera is transmitted through water so we recommend you drink bottled water (easily available). Also don’t eat or drink things being sold on the street. We recommend you eat at hotels or established restaurants. There are also anti-cholera vaccines see: http://www.netdoctor.co.uk/travel-health/medicines/dukoral.html, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cholera_vaccine.
As to the illness of Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, no short term effects are expected even if he fails to recover. This should not be a factor in your decision on whether to travel to Cuba.