Wednesday, November 15, 2006

The "fever syndrome"

You know that dengue epidemic that has been sweeping parts of Cuba over the past few months, resulting in the death of an unknown number of patients?

Well, the Castro regime is still pretending otherwise, according to a report in today's edition of The Los Angeles Times.

The paper quotes an unnamed senior doctor in Cuba said to be familiar with the scope of the epidemic.

The doctor says the official response to the epidemic was slow because of “government secrecy” and the “veil initially imposed by Communist Party officials”.

It seems the regime was concerned that any public announcement about the real extent of the problem would have had an impact on preparations for the meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement, which took place in Havana in September.

The doctor, who spoke on condition of anonymity "because of the possibility of dismissal from his job or arrest for discussing the matter with a reporter", said health officials were instructed to effectively ignore the epidemic.

"We were forbidden even to refer to it as dengue fever, because the official position is that dengue was eradicated in the 1980s," he told the paper. "We were compelled to call it 'fever syndrome.' "

That's what you'd call a wold-class health system.


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