Cholera in Cuba has prompted the United States to issue an advisory for travelers to Cuba. This comes after cholera has sickened several foreign visitors to Cuba in recent weeks. The warning recommends that the U.S. Interests Section in Havana recommend to folks living and visiting there to take precautions, according to ABC News on Aug. 21.
The recommendations include to avoid untreated water, street food and under- or uncooked dishes such as ceviche. The diplomatic mission said in a statement published online Tuesday:
“We urge you to follow public health recommendations and guidelines, such as safe food and water precautions and frequent hand washing to help prevent cholera infection.”
Most Americans can't visit Cuba because a 51-year-old embargo against Cuba doesn't allow most American tourism to the island. While people can't go as a tourist to Cuba, Hundreds of thousands of Cuban-Americans go to Cuba legally to visit their family each year. The number of U.S. citizens visiting through licensed cultural exchange is on the rise, so they too need to heed the advisory.
The Pan American Health Organization reports five confirmed cholera cases that are “associated with a history of travel to Cuba” in July and August. These cases include an Italian, two Venezuelans and two Chileans. At least three of them visited Havana.
A rare cholera outbreak in Cuba last summer was revealed by officials in that country after it originated in the eastern part of the country. Up until that point it had been many years since cholera was heard of of on the island. That cholera outbreak last year sickened 417 people, killing three. Authorities reported that the outbreak had run its course, but come January another 51 nonfatal cases in the capitol were reported.
Cholera is a waterborne disease and it can kill its victims with severe dehydration. This can happen quickly if it is not detected or treated in time. Doctors and nurses in Cuba are well trained in spotting this disease and in its treatment.