Seoul, Aug 23 (IANS) The first case of cholera in the last 15-years has detected in South Korea, health authorities confirmed on Tuesday.
A 59-year-old man from Gwangju city, about 270 km (168 miles) south of Seoul, was diagnosed with the deadly disease that kills thousands of people each year globally, in the hospital, the Korea Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (KCDC) said in a statement.
There’s no record of the patient having travelled abroad recently, so the spread of the bacterial disease is contained within the country, said the statement.
South Korean health authorities are probing the case to decipher whether it originated due to ingestion of local or imported food and water.
The disease was eradicated from the country in the last decade and a half, since its outbreak in 2001 which affected 162 people.
Cholera, an acute intestinal infection caused by ingestion of food or water contaminated with the bacterium Vibrio cholerae, causes vomiting and severe dehydration which if untreated has a 50 per cent mortality rate.
Cholera is endemic in 50 countries and each year there are between 1.4 and 4.3 million cases in the world, out of which around 142,000 people die from the disease.
It is estimated that more than 1 billion people in the world are at risk of contracting the disease and the best way to prevent the disease is to have access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation something that is lacking in many developing countries.