Never seen before: Very rare Cholera outbreak in Vancouver Island
There is currently a very rare cholera outbreak on Vancouver Island. Specialists say they have never faced such a situation before. Individuals likely – meaning we have no clues right now! – contracted the illness after eating herring eggs harvested on the coast of Vancouver Island. “This is unique. We have not seen this before in B.C.,” a health officer reports.
Health officials have linked a rare cholera outbreak on Vancouver Island to consumption of contaminated herring eggs.
As many as four people have been infected with cholera in British Columbia, in what health officials are calling an extremely rare case. Health officials have linked a rare cholera outbreak on Vancouver Island to consumption of contaminated herring eggs harvested on the coast of Vancouver Island.
At least one stool sample tested positive for the bacteria and less than five people are believed infected. Testing is still under way to determine the exact strain of the bacterial infection. “This is unique. We have not seen this before in B.C.,” a health officer reports.
But for officials, these illnesses have been associated with herring egg consumption. Herring egg harvest is typically, on Vancouver Island, a First Nations harvest. The spawn had just happened earlier this month. People had harvested and were distributing between family, friends, communities.
Island Health and the First Nations Health Authority are asking people in the area to wash their hands thoroughly, report to a doctor if they feel any symptoms and contact them if anyone has stored herring eggs.
Cholera killed at least 20,000 people in Canada in the 1800s, but the disease has largely been eradicated in this country. The Ontario Ministry of Health says an average of one case per year is reported in that province, but all of those individuals were exposed to cholera in a country where the disease is endemic. More than 100,000 people die from cholera around the world each year, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control said. The disease is most common in places with inadequate water treatment, poor sanitation and inadequate hygiene.
Cholera may be passed person-to-person, but is usually contracted from bacteria in food or water sources infected with fecal matter. Symptoms of cholera include nausea, vomiting and diarrhea that can lead to extreme dehydration.