Saturday, July 14, 2012

Cuban health care

Under observation

An outbreak of cholera tests a much-praised health system

CHOLERA was eradicated in Cuba more than half a century ago. But on July 3rd the government announced that the disease had returned, infecting 53 people and killing three in the south-eastern province of Granma. Since then unconfirmed reports have said that up to 15 may have died, and that the outbreak has spread to Havana, at the opposite end of the island.
The most likely source is Haiti, which since 2010 has suffered an epidemic that has killed more than 7,000 people, plus 363 in the Dominican Republic, its neighbour. Only 50 miles (80km) of sea separate Haiti from Cuba, which has sent hundreds of doctors to help the Haitians control the outbreak (and who may inadvertently have brought the illness back). Tests are expected to establish within days whether the Cuban cases match the Haitian strain.
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