Cuba declares cholera outbreak over

August 28, 2012

Cuba's health ministry said Tuesday the country's first cholera outbreak in 130 years is over after three deaths and more than 400 confirmed cases.

"More than 10 days have gone by since the last confirmed case, so the is declaring this (cholera) outbreak over," a ministry statement said.

All told there were 417 confirmed cases in two months since the outbreak was announced July 3, according to the the ministry, which said the cases were linked to contaminated wells in Manzanillo.

Some dissidents in the Americas' only communist-run country have criticized the government for withholding information about the outbreak.

"If anger (against the government) is dangerous, cholera without information transparency is worse," dissident blogger Yoani Sanchez tweeted last month.

Health officials have said they believe and hot temperatures contributed to the outbreak.

Cholera is an intestinal ailment spread through and water.

It causes serious diarrhea and vomiting, leading to dehydration. It is easily treatable by and antibiotics, but the ailment can be fatal if not addressed quickly enough.

The outbreak is a matter of particular concern in Cuba, which prides itself on having one of the region's most admired public health systems, seen as a laudable success for the half-century old regime.

The last known person to be infected with cholera in Cuba died of the disease in 1882, when the island was still a Spanish colony.

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