Friday, October 07, 2022

Central China’s Wuhan reports cholera case

Central China's Wuhan reports cholera case

Chinese authorities confirmed on Monday that a cholera case had occurred in the central city of Wuhan, where the COVID-19 outbreak began before spreading globally. State media acknowledged that the case has raised public concern in a society still dealing with the COVID outbreak.

China’s official media outlet Xinhua published the news on the front page of its website Monday night local time, citing a public announcement issued by the Wuchang district government’s disease control center. Wuchang is a district with just over a million people in the city of Wuhan and is home to Wuhan University, where the case was reported.

The news is no longer on the front page of Xinhua as of Tuesday morning local time, nor can it be found in the website’s local news section, a category it was previously in.

Wuhan University announced on Monday that a postgraduate student with a history of gastro-sickness was admitted to the university hospital on July 8 after experiencing fever, vomiting and diarrhea. The student has since been transferred twice, each time to a higher-level hospital, and is currently in quarantine, the university said.

The dorm where the student stayed, as well as the lab where the student worked, had been locked down as of the night of July 9, the university said. Three close contacts, including two roommates and a third person who had dined with the student prior to the student’s hospitalization, were quarantined.

Between the afternoon of July 9 and the early morning of the next day, 254 students living in the same dorm building plus three dorm building managers and 15 salespeople were tested. Potentially affected areas are temporarily closed, relevant staff have been quarantined “in accordance with regulation” and given preventive medicine, the university said.

The university has also taken “environmental” samples from the public areas of the dormitory building, dormitories, bathrooms, waste disposal channels, and the building where the student worked. The areas have also been disinfected.

Hospital staff who were in contact with the student have been tested.

The university reported that its hospital has treated an additional 19 cases of diarrhea between July 1 and 10, and that tests for cholera were being carried out.

The university said on Monday that as of July 10 evening local time, no other O1 or O138 strains, which were confirmed in the student, had been detected among 264 closely monitored individuals.

O1 and O138 are the only two strains of cholera bacteria that cause outbreaks, according to the World Health Organization.

Cholera is only the second infectious disease classified by the Chinese government as a Type A infectious disease, the other being plague. COVID-19, AIDS, rabies, avian flu and malaria are among the dozens classified as Type B, a less serious category.

The English-language Global Times, part of China’s state media, reported on the Wuhan University case on Monday. The article cited the university’s report that the patient was symptom-free after being treated and that the more than 200 students living in the same dormitory building tested negative.

The report acknowledged that “while the COVID-19 outbreaks are not over in China and the flu has hit southern Chinese provinces, the newly discovered cholera case has raised public concerns. [in China].” The same report also quoted a Wuhan University director as saying, “There is no need to panic.”

Yang Zhanqiu, deputy director of the university’s pathogen biology department, was quoted by the Global Times as saying that “with greatly improved sanitary conditions and medical treatment, cholera in China has been under control since 2000 and only sporadic cases have been reported.” in recent years”. years.”

According to the World Health Organization, cholera is an acute diarrheal infection caused by ingestion of food or water contaminated with cholera bacteria. The WHO describes cholera as “an extremely virulent disease that can cause severe acute watery diarrhoea”.

According to the WHO, it takes between 12 hours and 5 days for a person to show symptoms after ingesting contaminated food or water. Cholera affects both children and adults and can cause death within hours if left untreated.

Most people infected with the cholera bacterium do not develop any symptoms, according to the WHO, although the bacterium is present in their stool for 1 to 10 days after infection and has the potential to affect other people.

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