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Brazil records first local case of cholera in 18 years, says ministry

For the first time in 18 years, Brazil recorded an autochthonous case of cholera, that is, in which the patient contracted the disease in the country itself and not while traveling to affected regions. The case was detected in Salvador, Bahia.

Technical note signed by the Department of Health and Environmental Surveillance informed that the bacteria causing the disease (Vibrio cholerae) was identified in a 60-year-old man, who had not recently traveled to countries with cholera, nor had contact with any other confirmed or even suspected case.

The man presented symptoms of abdominal discomfort and diarrhea in March and has now recovered.

Tests carried out on people who had contact with the infected man and on the health professionals who treated him were negative, eliminating any risk of transmission.

Preventive measures and additional investigations are underway by the Bahia Health Surveillance Strategic Information Center (CIEVS-BA), in coordination with local and national entities, according to a note released by the ministry.

Cholera is an acute intestinal infectious disease, transmitted by direct fecal-oral contamination, ingestion of contaminated water or food and from person to person.

The cholera bacteria is active in nature. Its spread can be prevented with adequate personal hygiene measures and, above all, basic sanitation.

About 75% of infected people remain asymptomatic. Severe forms of the disease must be treated immediately to avoid complications and, in extreme cases, death.

Since 2006, Brazil has not recorded indigenous cases of the disease. During this period, only four cases imported from countries with outbreaks of the disease were recorded. The last autochthonous cases were registered in Pernambuco, between 2004 and 2005.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), from January to March this year, 31 countries recorded cases or outbreaks of cholera. The African region is the most impacted, with 18 countries affected.

Source: CNN Brasil

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