MEP calls for EU special committee investigating funds to Wuhan
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Local authorities announced that a food market where samples from softshell turtles tested positive for a pathogen capable of causing cholera has been disinfected. So far, officials have not found any human case of cholera among the people who have been in contact with the softshell turtles. However, the store where the pathogens were detected has now been ordered to shut down for three days.
Cholera is a disease that is primarily caused by drinking unclean water or eating contaminated food, particularly seafood.
The disease is known cause death in extreme cases due to dehydration and extreme diarrhoea, with pregnant women and children being particularly vulnerable.
Over the past week Wuhan, which was the epicentre of the Covid-19 outbreak, has been on high alert after a university student was diagnosed with a cholera infection.
Following the diagnosis, authorities began testing students in the same dorm building.
Of them, three close contacts were placed in isolation, while 254 students, staff and campus shop workers all tested negative.
Authorities have now said that the vibrio cholerae O139 strain, which was detected in the student and the contaminated samples is unrelated.
The disease control authority in Wuhan’s Hongshan district has said that they are now tracking a number of products from the same batch as the turtles, that have already been shipped elsewhere.
Despite there being no evidence yet of a cholera outbreak, China citizens online have raised concerns of another Covid-like outbreak.
While the origins of the Covid-19 virus continue to remain a politically charged mystery, the earliest infections of the disease were linked to a local seafood market in Wuhan.
On Weibo, China’s twitter-like microblogging site, these fears became a trending topic, with one user writing: “Take the lesson of COVID, and hurry up in source tracing to secure evidence!!!”
Cholera reports are rare in mainland China, with no deaths recorded and only five cases detected in 2021 and 11 in 2020 but no deaths.
Andrew Greenhill, a microbiology professor at Federation University Australia said: “The detection of Vibrio cholerae O139 … does again remind us that wet markets, while culturally and economically important in Asia, have associated with the various public health risks.”
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He added that at present there is no major cause for concern about the cholera case, while stressing the importance of ongoing surveillance.
Professor Greenhill also noted that the O139 strain had been detected in a number of other countries and that cholera outbreaks are rare locations that have adequate access to clean drinking water and sanitation.
He said: In fact to detect the strain demonstrates that surveillance is being conducted, which can only be seen as a positive.”
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