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China’s Wuhan University reports cholera case, sparking fear of spread

Published: Updated:

China’s Wuhan University reported a case of cholera, spurring a rush to trace contacts and stem potential further spread.

The district’s health department said it has collected samples, undertaken contact tracing and closed some venues for disinfection after the student was found to have the disease. No further cases have been detected so far, it said.

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Cholera -- a virulent disease that’s spread through contaminated food and water and causes acute diarrhea -- is relatively rare in China, with one case found in March and five detected last year.

But its possible emergence in Wuhan, the original epicenter of COVID-19, comes as China’s health system faces unprecedented scrutiny as coronavirus infections flare across the country despite a harsh zero-tolerance approach designed to stamp out the virus.

China classifies cholera as a ‘Class A’ disease, the strongest designation and one shared by only the bubonic plague.

Most people who are infected will have no or mild symptoms and can be treated with oral re-hydration, though cholera can kill within hours if left untreated, according to the World Health Organization.

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