Cuba cholera contained, no case in capital: blog
A Cuban cholera outbreak that has claimed three lives has been contained and no cases have been detected in the capital Havana, a pro-government blog reported Wednesday.
"Health authorities have told the Yohandry blog the cholera has been contained and not a single case exists in Havana," the site administrator said on via Twitter, countering reports to the contrary in the international media.
In the absence of official information, the blog (www.yohandry.com) is known for indirectly diffusing information from Cuban authorities.
On July 3, Cuban authorities said the three fatalities were elderly people and a thousand people were receiving preventative treatment in Manzanillo, a town of some 130,000 inhabitants.
They have declined to provide further details.
Cuba has informed the Pan American Health Organization of the outbreak. The body, in turn, issued an alert urging other states in the region to be vigilant and implement precautionary measures to prevent the disease from spreading.
Cuban dissidents, meanwhile, decried the lack of details about the outbreak.
"If cholera is dangerous, then cholera without the transparency of information is even more so," award-winning blogger Yoani Sanchez tweeted.
Health officials last week said they believe heavy rains and hot temperatures contributed to the outbreak, an intestinal ailment which is spread through contaminated food and water.
The ailment causes serious diarrhea and vomiting, leading to dehydration. It is easily treatable by rehydration and antibiotics, but can be fatal if not treated in time.
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, which is seen as one of the successes of its half-century old communist regime.
The last patient known to fall ill with cholera in Cuba was Manuel Jimenez Fuentes, who died of the disease in 1882, when the island was still a Spanish colony.
(c) 2012 AFP