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Reaction to the closure of a farm in Toledo due to the suspected first autochthonous case of cholera in Spain since 1979

Castilla-La Mancha has sealed a farm in Toledo after a minor was hospitalised (and later discharged) after drinking water from a tap. Analyses by the Instituto de Salud Carlos III have confirmed that it is not cholera. Although the bacteria consumed is the same, in this case it did not contain the toxins that cause the disease.

22/06/2022 - 14:41 CEST
Update Edited: new data from the ISCIII determined that the girl's illness was not cholera, as initially suspected, but gastroenteritis caused by the same bacteria. Reactions have been updated in light of the new data.
Expert reactions

Jacob Lorenzo Morales sobre cólera en Toledo

Jacob Lorenzo-Morales

Professor of Parasitology, Director of the University Institute of Tropical Diseases and Public Health of the Canary Islands of the University of La Laguna and CIBERINFEC researcher

Science Media Centre Spain

In the end it is non-toxigenic V. Chloreae, so there is no cholera, but gastritis. Even so, it is important to make the population aware of common sense and to think that actions such as drinking untreated (non-drinking) water are totally out of place. Today it was a false alarm, another day it could be a more serious case with a much more potent pathogen.

The colleagues of the National Microbiology Centre of the ISCIII, once again, deserve to be applauded for their titanic work and the rapid response and diagnosis they have carried out.

The case has occurred on a farm with non-drinking water. Investigations will now look into the origin (source) of the contamination of this water.

If it had been cholera, the risk to the general population would have been almost nil. As several public health and research officials have already said, with the water quality controls in place in our country, a catastrophe would have to occur for contamination to reach the water supply networks.


The author has not responded to our request to declare conflicts of interest

Mar Faraco - cólera

Mar Faraco

President of the Association of Foreign Health Doctors (AMSE) and Head of the Foreign Health Service in Huelva

Science Media Centre Spain

We are talking about non-potable, non-chlorinated water, without any hygienic control. I am curious about the source of the initial contamination, about how the Vibrio [a genus of bacteria] got there. We will have to wait for the epidemiological investigations that are already underway. If it had been cholera, the risk of a wider outbreak in Spain, with the control and prevention of drinking water and environmental sanitation, would have been almost non-existent.

The author has not responded to our request to declare conflicts of interest
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