A cholera outbreak in southeastern Cuba has killed three people and infected an additional 53 people, according to a Cuban Health Ministry release published by the Communist Party newspaper Granma on Tuesday. The outbreak of Vibrio cholerea was centered on Manzanillo, a coastal town of 130,000 residents in Granma province. A number of contaminated drinking wells were cited as the source of the infection, according to the Health Ministry statement.
The disease killed three elderly adults, ages 95, 70 and 66; all of whom had records of chronic illness. In total, 1,000 Cubans who exhibited cholera symptoms, namely severe diarrhea and other gastrointestinal illness, have received medical attention. "The Manzanillo outbreak is controlled and the number of cases are dropping as a result of the sanitary, hygienic and anti-epidemic measures being taken,” said the Ministry on Tuesday.
The Ministry of Health’s report made no mention of the concurrent cholera outbreak in neighboring Haiti, which has killed over 7,000 people. But hundreds of medical professionals from Granma province have been deployed to Haiti to provide treatment over the past two years, which could provide leads to the source of the Cuban outbreak.