Health Alerts

Since the beginning  of the cholera epidemic in October 2010, the Dominican Republic and Haiti have  reported thousands of cholera cases and related deaths. Cases of cholera decreased  in 2012 compared to 2011, although they continue to be reported throughout both  countries. There have been increases in the number of cases during seasonal  heavy rainfall in the months of May to July and September to October.

Cholera cases have been reported in Cuba since first reports of an outbreak in July 2012. Following Hurricane Sandy, there have been cases of cholera reported in the provinces of Santiago de Cuba, Camagüey and Guantanamo. Since early January, the Ministry of Public Health of Cuba has reported an increase in the number of cases of illness with diarrhea in Cerro, a municipality in the capital city Havana. Cases were also later reported in other areas of the city. To date, tests have confirmed 51 cases of cholera.

Cholera is an acute intestinal infection caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. People usually become infected from drinking or  eating contaminated water or food. It is associated with watery diarrhea and  rapid dehydration, which can be life-threatening.

The  Public Health Agency of Canada recommends practising safe  food and water precautions while in Cuba, Dominican Republic or Haiti.