Last week, at least four people have been diagnosed with cholera after eating herring eggs. Since then, no new cases have been identified, although testing is not completed yet. A medical health officer working with the Island Health Department said that they cannot anticipate weather other cases will appear until they see the final tests results. She also confirmed that the number of sick people is under five.
Dr. Shannon Waters said that this cholera infection is a rare situation in B.C. Another worrying fact is that the disease is evolving, so people should be aware of the danger.
What caused the infection
Test operated on affected patients linked the infection with the consumption of herring eggs. In this case, the Island Health and First Nations Health Authority issued a joint warning, advising people to avoid consuming them. The warning particularly addresses the area from French Creek to Qualicum Bay, the zone where cholera patients were noticed. Now, the Department of Fisheries is running their own tests, so they decided to temporary close the herring-egg harvesting.
How serious is the cholera infection
Despite its’ severity, cholera is treatable. The symptoms are very unpleasant and can include nausea, vomiting and severe watery diarrhea. Although it is more common in those parts of the world where people face hygiene, sanitation and clean water supplies issues, it can appear in modern area also, due to the pollution that affects the environment and thus, the food.
At the moment, the cholera outbreak is being examined by the B.C Centre for Disease Control and the two health agencies in the area. Dr. Waters said that the infestation might be caused even by the way in which people like to eat herring eggs: some people eat them raw, while others cook them. People who prefer to eat the eggs un-cooked are more exposed to the infection. Authorities are putting every effort into stopping the disease from spreading.