Hong Kong health officials report investigating an imported cholera case in a 25-year-old female patient who traveled to Malaysia.

CholeraThe patient traveled to Malaysia from June 30 to July 3 and developed diarrhea, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting since July 3. She was admitted to Union Hospital on July 8 and was discharged on July 10.

According to testing performed by the The Centre for Health Protection’s (CHP) Public Health Laboratory Services Branch, the patient’s stool tested positive for toxigenic Vibrio cholerae O1 serotype Ogawa.

The patient was admitted to Princess Margaret Hospital on July 11 for isolation and management. She has been in a stable condition all along.  Initial inquiries revealed that the patient had no travel companions in her recent trip and her home contacts remained asymptomatic. The CHP’s investigations are ongoing.

“Most cholera patients have gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhoea or vomiting. Some patients with severe symptoms present with a sudden onset of profuse diarrhoea with rice-water-like and fishy smelling stools, nausea and vomiting. Without prompt treatment, these patients may die from severe dehydration,” a spokesman for the CHP said.

Cholera is usually contracted through consumption of food or water contaminated with Vibrio cholerae. Human-to-human transmission rarely happens.