Emerging and Reemerging Infectious Diseases,
Region of the Americas
Vol. 3, No. 1 (24 October 2006)
Main Updates index
Dengue Outbreak in Cuba, 2006
Havana: The Minister of Health of Cuba, Dr. José Ramón Balaguer, informed the PAHO/WHO Country Office in Cuba of the presence of a classic dengue outbreak affecting four provinces in Cuba, with 9% of the cases among children. Up to the first of August of this year, three cases of dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) were reported, with no deaths.
Dr. Lea Guido, PAHO/WHO Representative (PWR) in Cuba, pointed out to the press (to Spanish-language news agency EFE) that "control of the vector is a high-priority for the country and is being handled at the highest political level." She added that treatment of the subject on the part of the authorities "has an intersectoral approach that goes beyond the Ministry of Health" and involves the community at large.
On 13 October, PAHO/WHO-Cuba received a news briefing from the Cuban Ministry of Public Health reporting that the country continues to face a dengue outbreak with a predominance of classic dengue. Although the outbreak has spread geographically, it affects a limited number of municipalities, with the adult population predominantly affected. Only 10.3% of the cases have occurred among children. All cases of dengue hemorrhagic fever have taken place in the adult population and have, in a limited number of cases, produced deaths associated with preexisting chronic conditions. According to the Ministry of Health of Cuba at the time of this report, a significant reduction in the number of cases was observed, both in the provinces and in the capital. Vector-control measures are in effect, with active investigation of new cases. However, exact figures on the number of cases were not available.
The Ministry reported that the country continues to respond with intensified vector-control measures and active investigation of the population, in order to guarantee early admissions for patients, a factor that has been favorable in dealing with the situation.
The note from the Ministry of Health points out that the country has the necessary resources, materials, and trained staff to deal with this event, in addition to political will and integrated activities on the part of the different sectors and agencies involved and with effective and increasing community participation.
Dengue is not endemic in Cuba but has had an impact on the country due to major epidemics in 1977 (viral serotype Dengue 1) and 1981 (Dengue 2). Following 16 dengue-free years during which the disease was not reintroduced, an outbreak hit the island in 1997, in Santiago de Cuba. In 2001, there was an outbreak of Dengue 3, affecting the capital and other provinces of the country.
Note: Additional epidemiological data on this outbreak will be made available in due course.
Source: Report to PAHO/WHO-Cuba from the Ministry of Public Health of Cuba, received by the PAHO Regional Program on Dengue based at PAHO-Panama.