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Cuba Cholera Outbreak Sickens More Than 150 People; Government Says Number Of Cases Dropping

“Cuba’s health ministry on Saturday reported 158 cases of cholera, nearly three times as many as previously disclosed, but said there were no new deaths and the outbreak appears to have been contained and on the wane,” the Associated Press/Washington Post reports (7/14). In a statement, the health ministry “denied there had been a ‘spread’ of cholera on the Communist-ruled island, blaming the incidents outside the affected town of Manzanillo on ‘isolated cases,’ that would be ‘treated and studied promptly,'” Agence France-Presse writes. “Health officials have said they believe heavy rains and hot temperatures contributed to the outbreak,” the news agency notes (7/15).

“Cuban authorities first reported the outbreak on July 3, stating there were 53 cases and three deaths at the time,” Reuters writes, adding that though residents of Granma province, where Manzanillo is located, “have been kept informed through radio and television as the government moved to limit the outbreak, national authorities remained mum after the July 3 statement, fueling rumors of a national epidemic” (Frank, 7/14). GlobalPost reports the outbreak is the first in the island nation since the 1880s (Miroff, 7/13).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.