Prior cholera sources continue to cause U.S. cases

Research presented on Friday demonstrated that most U.S. cholera cases reported between 2001 and 2010 were connected with the consumption of Gulf Coast seafood and travel to cholera-endemic nations.

The retrospective review found that 81 percent of the 111 patients studied travelled internationally in the seven days prior to contracting the illness. Of the 18 percent of patients who did not travel, 95 percent reported that they consumed seafood, Infectious Disease News reports.

"Domestically acquired cholera from other sources is rare, but still occurs," Anagha Loharikar, a CDC representatives, said, according to Infectious Disease News. "Our report demonstrates that after the outbreak of cholera in Haiti, which spread to the Dominican Republic, we saw a dramatic increase in US cases, all associated with travel to or from Hispaniola. Until access to an improved health infrastructure is seen in Haiti, we expect to see more cases from Hispaniola and other areas of the Caribbean and Latin America as cholera spreads to neighboring areas."

The most common symptoms associated with the disease were diarrhea in 98 percent of cases, abdominal cramps in 52 percent, vomiting in 47 percent and nausea in 46 percent. There were no deaths and 56 of the patients were hospitalized. Four percent of patients experienced acute renal failure, two percent experienced cardiopulmonary arrest and one percent experienced shock.

The research was presented on Friday at the ID Week 2012 meeting in San Diego.