(CNS): Acting Medical Officer of Health Dr Samuel Williams is continuing to remind visitors to Cuba to follow basic cholera prevention guidelines and anyone returning from the neighbouring country to contact a doctor immediately if they develop diarrhoea within five days of their return but with no further official reports concerning the Cholera outbreak in Havana concerns are abating. According to , the Pan American Health Organization and the World Health Organisation (WHO) there are no new cases and no travel restrictions are in place.
Chances of a cholera outbreak in the Cayman Islands as has been the case during the latest outbreak in the region remain very low as the Islands have modern water and sewage treatment systems.
Cholera is an acute intestinal infection that is the result of ingesting contaminated food or water. It causes rapid watery diarrhoea that leads to severe dehydration. Yet, according to WHO figures, up to 80 percent of cases can be treated successfully with oral rehydration salts. The disease is spread through water which may be tainted by the faeces of infected persons or by untreated sewage. Food can be contaminated by using this tainted water or by being handled by someone who has cholera.
Tips for Prevention
Travellers to Cuba can greatly reduce the risk of contracting the disease by following these practices:
Drink only bottled, boiled or chemically-treated water and/or bottled or canned beverages.
Ensure that seals are unbroken when using bottled drinks.
Disinfect your own water: boil for one minute or filter the water and add two drops of household bleach or half an iodine tablet per litre of water.
Use bottled, boiled or chemically-treated water to wash dishes and brush teeth.
Use ice in your drink only if you know it was made from boiled or treated water.
Wash your hands often with soap and clean water.
Clean your hands before you eat or prepare foods, and after using the bathroom.
Eat foods that have been thoroughly cooked and are still hot, or fruit that you have peeled yourself.
Cook all vegetables. Do not eat salads or other raw vegetables.
Do not buy food or beverages from street vendors.