Taiwan reports first indigenous case of cholera this year

09/15/2020 09:34 PM
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CDC Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang/ CNA photo Sept. 15, 2020
CDC Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang/ CNA photo Sept. 15, 2020

Taipei, Sept. 15 (CNA) A Taiwanese man was diagnosed with cholera earlier this month, in the first confirmed indigenous case of the disease this year, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said Tuesday.

The octogenarian in eastern Taiwan fell ill with diarrhea, vertigo and general fatigue on Aug. 31 and was admitted to hospital, where he was later diagnosed with cholera, according to the CDC.

The man had no travel history recently and said he ate only home-cooked food, according to CDC Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥).

The patient told his doctors that he sometimes had leftovers and had eaten steamed shrimp the day before he fell ill, Chuang said.

However, no one else in the man's household has shown any symptoms of cholera, Chuang added.

Cholera is a disease caused by infection of the intestine with Vibrio cholera bacteria.

A person can become infected by drinking water or eating poorly cooked seafood and other foods contaminated by the bacteria, according to Chuang.

The incubation period can vary from a few hours to five days, and averages two to three days, he said.

People are advised to eat thoroughly cooked food, drink boiled or bottled water, store food safely and refrigerate when necessary, Chuang said, adding that cholera is more common in hot weather.

As of Monday, only one case of indigenous cholera had been confirmed so far this year. Between 2016 and 2019, there were seven, zero, six and zero confirmed locally acquired cholera cases in Taiwan, respectively, and one imported case, according to the CDC.

(By Chen Wei-ting and Evelyn Kao)

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