JavaScript is off. Please enable to view full site.

In China's Wuhan, cholera-causing bacteria in turtles strikes nerve

In China's Wuhan, cholera-causing bacteria in turtles strikes nerve

Friday, July 15, 2022, 14:48 GMT+7
In China's Wuhan, cholera-causing bacteria in turtles strikes nerve
A worker in PPE stands in Baishazhou market during a visit of World Health Organization (WHO) team tasked with investigating the origins of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, in Wuhan, Hubei province, China, Jan. 31, 2021. Photo: Reuters

Detection in the Chinese city of Wuhan of a bacteria that caused cholera in a student and was separately found in samples from softshell turtles at a food market has struck a sensitive nerve with ordinary Chinese people, with some relating it to COVID-19.

The food market where samples from softshell turtles tested positive of the pathogen capable of causing cholera has been disinfected, local authorities said late on Thursday.

While no human cholera case was found among people who came in contact with the softshell turtles, the specific store selling them was ordered to shut down for three days.

Authorities said that the vibrio cholerae O139 strain for the student's infection, announced on Monday, and the contaminated samples are unrelated.

Officials are also tracking unspecified products of the same batch as the softshell turtles that have been shipped elsewhere, said the disease control authority in Wuhan's Hongshan district.

Despite a lack of solid signs of a cholera outbreak, netizens worried about another disease outbreak still made this issue among the top trending topics on China's Twitter-like microblog Weibo on Friday, with 200 million reads.

The earliest COVID-19 infections in late 2019 were initially linked to a local market in Wuhan that also sold seafood and fish products. The origin of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19 remains a mystery and a major source of tension between China and the United States.

"Take the lesson of COVID, and hurry up in source tracing to secure evidence!!!" wrote a weibo user.

Reports of cholera, an acute watery diarrhoea disease potentially fatal if left without prompt treatment and usually linked to contaminated food or water, are rare in mainland China, with five cases in 2021 and 11 in 2020 but no deaths.

"The detection of Vibrio cholerae O139 ... does again remind us that wet markets, while culturally and economically important in Asia, have associated with them various public health risks," said Andrew Greenhill, a microbiology professor at Federation University Australia.

At this point there is no major cause for concern while ongoing surveillance is important, Greenhill said, adding that O139 has been detected in various other countries and that large cholera outbreaks are unlikely in locations with safe drinking water and adequate sanitation.

"In fact to detect the strain demonstrates that surveillance is being conducted, which can only be seen as a positive."

Wuhan, with a population of more than 12 million, said on Monday the case of cholera in a local university student did not cause further infections.

Wuhan is yet to disclose sources of the bacteria for the student and the samples, or details on source tracing progress.

Detection in the Chinese city of Wuhan of a bacteria that caused cholera in a student and was separately found in samples from softshell turtles at a food market has struck a sensitive nerve with ordinary Chinese people, with some relating it to COVID-19.

The food market where samples from softshell turtles tested positive of the pathogen capable of causing cholera has been disinfected, local authorities said late on Thursday.

While no human cholera case was found among people who came in contact with the softshell turtles, the specific store selling them was ordered to shut down for three days.

Authorities said that the vibrio cholerae O139 strain for the student's infection, announced on Monday, and the contaminated samples are unrelated.

Officials are also tracking unspecified products of the same batch as the softshell turtles that have been shipped elsewhere, said the disease control authority in Wuhan's Hongshan district.

Despite a lack of solid signs of a cholera outbreak, netizens worried about another disease outbreak still made this issue among the top trending topics on China's Twitter-like microblog Weibo on Friday, with 200 million reads.

The earliest COVID-19 infections in late 2019 were initially linked to a local market in Wuhan that also sold seafood and fish products. The origin of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19 remains a mystery and a major source of tension between China and the United States.

"Take the lesson of COVID, and hurry up in source tracing to secure evidence!!!" wrote a weibo user.

Reports of cholera, an acute watery diarrhoea disease potentially fatal if left without prompt treatment and usually linked to contaminated food or water, are rare in mainland China, with five cases in 2021 and 11 in 2020 but no deaths.

"The detection of Vibrio cholerae O139 ... does again remind us that wet markets, while culturally and economically important in Asia, have associated with them various public health risks," said Andrew Greenhill, a microbiology professor at Federation University Australia.

At this point there is no major cause for concern while ongoing surveillance is important, Greenhill said, adding that O139 has been detected in various other countries and that large cholera outbreaks are unlikely in locations with safe drinking water and adequate sanitation.

"In fact to detect the strain demonstrates that surveillance is being conducted, which can only be seen as a positive."

Wuhan, with a population of more than 12 million, said on Monday the case of cholera in a local university student did not cause further infections.

Wuhan is yet to disclose sources of the bacteria for the student and the samples, or details on source tracing progress.

Reuters

More

Read more

Disasters cost $268 billion in 2022: Swiss Re

Natural and man-made catastrophes have caused $268 billion of economic losses so far in 2022, chiefly driven by Hurricane Ian and other extreme weather disasters, reinsurance giant Swiss Re estimated Thursday

1 day ago
;

Photos

VIDEOS

‘Taste of Australia’ gala dinner held in Ho Chi Minh City after 2-year hiatus

Taste of Australia Gala Reception has returned to the Park Hyatt Hotel in Ho Chi Minh City's District 1 after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic

Vietnamese woman gives unconditional love to hundreds of adopted children

Despite her own immense hardship, she has taken in and cared for hundreds of orphans over the past three decades.

Vietnam’s Mekong Delta celebrates spring with ‘hat boi’ performances

The art form is so popular that it attracts people from all ages in the Mekong Delta

Vietnamese youngster travels back in time with clay miniatures

Each work is a scene caught by Dung and kept in his memories through his journeys across Vietnam

Latest news