EL NUEVO HERALD (Cuba), CLARIN (Argentina)
HAVANA – After remaining cholera-free for more than a century, Cuba is suffering its second bout of cholera in six months.
The disease has infected more than 50 people in Havana, the government admitted, and, according to non-confirmed information, one death. In July, three people died of cholera in the east of the country.
Authorities have not made the number of deaths public, but a woman living in Havana said her 45-year-old son died of cholera a few days ago. According to El Nuevo Herald, the National Director of Epidemiology Manuel Santin Peña said the infection had not propagated to other regions and that the government was not lying about the number of cases.
This is the first bout of cholera that has hit the Cuban capital in 130 years. In July 2012, though, there was a serious outbreak of cholera east of the island. 417 people were contaminated and three died from the disease, in a region about 800km from Havana. On Aug. 28, authorities announced that the outbreak had been eradicated.
Cholera is transmitted through a bacteria found in water or contaminated produce, explains Clarin. It can kill a person in a matter of hours through severe dehydration, but is treatable if the person seeks prompt medical attention.
The cholera outbreak coincides with the last high tourism season, which lasts from December to April and brings thousands of Canadians, Europeans and Latin Americans to the island. Clarin reports that some European diplomats were contemplating the possibility of emitting travel warnings to discourage their fellow citizens from visiting the island.