Two areas in the Central Visayas are reporting cholera outbreaks, according to a ABS-CBN News report Wednesday. Nearly 200 cases of the serious bacterial infection have been reported from areas of Cebu and Bohol islands.

Vibrio cholerae/CDC
Vibrio cholerae/CDC

Health officials say 75 people from Sitio Badjao Bridge, Bohol were hospitalized and treated last week, while on Carnaza Island, Cebu, more than 100 people were affected.

This follows a report less than two weeks ago from Korean health authorities that said travelers from Cebu were infected with cholera (Vibrio cholerae O1 Ogawa, CTX +).

Health officials have provided the areas with new water containers and water-purification chemicals.

Cholera is an acute diarrheal infection caused by ingestion of food or water contaminated with the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. It has a short incubation period, ranging between two hours and five days.

The bacterium produces an enterotoxin that causes a copious, painless, watery diarrhea that can quickly lead to severe dehydration and death if treatment is not promptly given. Vomiting also occurs in most patients.

It affects both children and adults and can kill within hours. Person-to-person transmission is not common.

Among people who develop symptoms, about 80-90% of episodes are of mild or moderate severity and are difficult to distinguish clinically from other types of acute diarrhea. Less than 20% of ill persons develop acute watery diarrhea with moderate or severe dehydration.