Via the Miami Herald: Mosquito-borne virus Chikungunya may have arrived in Cuba. This just repeats the Hablemos Press report, but it also signals a major US newspaper picking up the story. Excerpt:
Cuban doctors already facing outbreaks of dengue and cholera are now reporting the island’s first cases of Chikungunya, a painful, mosquito-borne fever spreading across the Caribbean, according to an independent journalist.
Doctors at the Vladimir Ilich Lenin General University Hospital in the eastern city of Holguín have confirmed dozens of cases of the fever in several parts of eastern Cuba, Mario Hechavarria reported for the Hablemos Press news agency.
Hospital workers told him that dozens of cases had been confirmed with laboratory tests and that national health officials have turned a school outside of Holguín into a hospital to treat the patients and keep them isolated, Hechavarria said Tuesday.
Cuban authorities have not publicly confirmed any cases of Chikungunya. But they have long been reluctant to comment on similar diseases, apparently to avoid scaring away foreign tourists who are one of the island’s key sources of income.
Independent journalists were the first to report the first outbreaks of dengue in Cuba in the 1970s and of cholera in 2012 – both during the summer mosquito and rainy season when latrines flood and overflow.