Fifteen die of cholera in Cuban outbreak

Cuba's health ministry recently confirmed the island nation is facing its first major cholera outbreak in more than 50 years.

At least 15 people have reportedly died and hundreds have been sickened from the waterborne illness over the past few weeks. The majority of the cases have been located in Cuba's southeastern Granma province, but at least one person, a 60-year-old woman, was admitted to a Havana hospital with the disease, according to

Cuban officials reported that the infections have been traced to contaminated well water. They said the outbreak is now under control and that four hospitals have been prepared to receive and quarantine further suspected cases.

The Cuban government said that recent heavy rains and high temperatures caused problems in its water purification systems and may have contributed to the infections. Chlorine has been added to water supplies in the Granma area to help stem the outbreak.

The Health Ministry said that the last reported cholera outbreak in the country occurred shortly after the communist revolution in 1959, reports.

There is speculation that the source of the outbreak may be linked to the cholera epidemic in nearby Haiti. Hundreds of Cuban medical professionals have traveled to Haiti since the start of a major cholera epidemic in 2010, according to the BBC.