BY JUAN O. TAMAYO
The U.S. diplomatic mission in Cuba has issued an alert for cholera and urged everyone living in Cuba and traveling to the island to follow public health recommendations and guidelines, such as safe food and water precautions and frequent hand washing.
“This message is to inform U.S. citizens residing in or visiting Cuba that media reports have indicated that cases of cholera have been identified in the city of Havana, possibly linked to a reported outbreak of cholera in eastern Cuba,” said a note issued by the U.S. Interests Section in Havana.
The Panamerican Health Organization “issued an epidemiological alert noting the presence of cholera in Cuba and confirming that foreign travelers have contracted cholera during recent trips to Cuba,” added the note, dated Tuesday.
The note gave no further details on the foreign travelers affected, but Venezuela, Chile and Italy have recently reported a total of five cases of cholera in travelers arriving from Havana.
Although the Cuban government has said little about the cholera outbreak, apparently to avoid harming its tourism industry, independent journalists on the island have been reporting scores of cases and fatalities since the summer of 2012.