Taiwan reports first indigenous cholera case of 2020

Male patient has no recent travel history, source of infection unknown

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(Getty Images photo)

(Getty Images photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — An octogenarian from eastern Taiwan has become the first local case of cholera in the country this year, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said Tuesday (Sept. 15).

On Aug. 31, the man started to exhibit symptoms, including diarrhea, fatigue, and vertigo. He was diagnosed with the infectious disease, which is caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae, and is still being treated at a hospital.

He has no recent travel history and reportedly eats home-cooked meals most of the time, including leftovers. He drinks boiled water and does not mix raw and cooked food, according to the CDC.

None of his family members have shown symptoms of the illness. A disease control investigation is being conducted to identify the source of the infection.

This is the first indigenous cholera case reported in Taiwan this year, with 13 cases being recorded between 2016 and 2019. In the past five years there has been one imported case, from the Philippines, who was diagnosed in 2017.

Cholera is transmitted via contaminated food or water and leads to symptoms such as watery diarrhea, vomiting, dehydration, acidosis, and circulatory failure. If not treated promptly, the disease has a mortality rate of over 50 percent, warned the CDC.