SPAIN’S Health Ministry has rejected claims by regional authorities that a case of cholera has been detected for the first time in more than 40 years.
On Wednesday a farm in Toledo province was sealed off while Castilla-La Mancha authorities investigated the source after reports that a child had contracted cholera after drinking from a well.
But later on Wednesday, Spain’s central Health Ministry insisted that in fact, the girl was suffering vibrio gastroenteritis and not cholera as first thought.
“After the corresponding analyses, it has been determined that the pathogenic agent in this case is non-toxigenic vibrio cholerae 01 and, therefore, it is not considered a case of cholera, but of vibrio gastroenteritis,” the Spanish health ministry said in a statement.
Cholera is an infectious bacterial disease that causes diarrhoea, cramps and weakness. In many cases it is mild and even asymptomatic but is considered as very dangerous because in some patients it can cause death within hours due to the great loss of fluids and mineral salts.
The common way of transmission is direct contact between two people and, above all, contamination of water and food.
The last cholera outbreak in Spain originated in the North African enclave of Melilla in 1979.