Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Cuba issues alert on cholera outbreak

Cuba issues alert on cholera outbreak
26 August, 2013

The Cayman Islands Ministry of Health and the Public Health Department
confirmed their awareness of the situation following the release of a
U.S. State Department security message on Aug. 20.

Cholera is an intestinal infection caused by ingesting food or water
contaminated with cholera bacteria. Symptoms include diarrhea and
vomiting which, if severe enough, can cause death. In most cases,
symptoms occur within 24 to 48 hours of infection but in others it can
take several days for signs of the infection to appear.

Although no travel restrictions are in place, the Pan American Health
Organization confirmed that, between late July and early August of this
year, there have been five cases of cholera associated with a history of
travel to Cuba.

Travellers to Cuba should contact their doctor immediately if they
develop watery diarrhea and vomiting within five days of leaving the
country. This advice also applies to travellers to Haiti and the
Dominican Republic, which are also currently affected by cholera.

Acting Medical Officer with the Health Services Authority Samuel
Williams-Rodriguez advised travellers to Cuba to be vigilant in ensuring
hygienic food preparation, and to make sure disinfected water is used
for everything from making ice to washing hands.

"Travellers should also carry an ample supply of oral re-hydration
salts," he said. Dr. Williams-Rodriguez explained that re-hydration is
extremely important in preventing death from cholera.

Cholera resurfaced in Cuba last year after a century without any
outbreaks. A year later, Cuban officials are still battling the disease.
It is not known exactly how the disease was reintroduced to the country.

Local health officials said that cholera is not present in the Cayman
Islands and that an outbreak is unlikely due to the water and sewage
treatment systems in place.

Source: "Cuba issues alert on cholera outbreak :: cayCompass.com" -

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