Should we cancel our trip to Cuba because of the cholera outbreak and Chavez’s Health?

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:,

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.


2 thoughts on “Should we cancel our trip to Cuba because of the cholera outbreak and Chavez’s Health?

  • Also avoid shellfish. In fact, that could be how it got to Cuba in the first place….

    Drinking any infected water and eating any foods washed in the water, as well as shellfish living in the affected waterway,
    can cause a person to contract an infection. Coastal cholera outbreaks typically follow zooplankton blooms, thus making cholera a zoonotic disease.

  • Re: cholera – Take Dukoral before leaving. It will reduce the chances of getting sick and reduce the severity if you do.

    Re: Chavez – whatever happens to Chavez, and whatever happens in Venezuela as a consequence, there is no chance of any trouble in Cuba in the short term.

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