Cuban authorities have confirmed during the weekend the first case of monkeypox in the country. It was a 38-year-old Italian tourist who was reported to be in serious condition, according to Granma.
The patient was in critical condition, with danger to his life, the Health Ministry said in a statement. The traveler had arrived in the country August 15 and visited several western provinces since.
The tourist stayed at a rented house until August 17, when he showed symptoms of the malady and sought medical help. During the first medical attention, the symptoms worsened, so he required urgent transfer for hospitalization and intensive treatment, arriving at the hospital in cardiac arrest, from which he recovered, the Ministry's document explained. He remained in ICU.
The epidemiological investigation is deepened and control actions are carried out, as per the protocol approved to face this disease in the country, the authorities also pointed out.
The World Health Organization (WHO) declared that the monkeypox outbreak constituted an extraordinary situation that can now be labeled as a global emergency, meaning it could spread to more countries and requires a coordinated international response.
Meanwhile, Cuba diagnosed 74 new cases of COVID-19 with no deaths reported, bringing the total number of infections to 1,109,911 and the number of deaths to 8,529, with 331 active cases, the lowest figure in recent weeks. So far, 9.98 million of the 11.1 million Cubans have been immunized against COVID-19 and 8.04 million have received booster doses of Cuban-manufactured Abdala, Soberana-02, and Soberana Plus vaccines,
What worries Cuban authorities the most these days healthwise is the spread of dengue fever, of which several cases have been reported. The situation has been described as complex since only a part of those with symptoms have consulted a healthcare practitioner.
If all those who get sick went to the doctor, the official figures of dengue cases would be much higher; but a good part of the population is afraid of being admitted to hospitals and does not go, said a Public Health official in Pinar del Río told Granma.
Dengue is a tropical disease that already had a lethal epidemic on the island in 1981 and outbreaks in recent years. It proliferates throughout the Americas.
President Miguel Díaz-Canel last week called for nationwide popular participation in the fight against the Aedes Aegypti mosquito that causes dengue, which is in the transmission phase in 13 of Cuba's 15 provinces, according to the head of state.
A total of 1,457 cases have been reported in Western Cuba with a house index of 1.17 representing the average number of infections per household, according to Dr. Andres Villar, director of the Provincial Center of Hygiene, Epidemiology, and Microbiology, which represents a high vector infectivity.”
Adding to the crisis was the shortage of fuel following fires at a refining plant earlier this month, which paused fumigations usually carried out in every house.