Cholera outbreak in China declared over

Local health officials in China's Hubei Province recently declared an end to a cholera outbreak.

The officials said that emergency response services have been ended and all of the cases have been cured. Nine people confirmed to have contracted the waterborne illness were discharged from area hospitals, according to

In addition to the nine confirmed patients, the provincial health department said another nine who initially tested positive for the illness have completed an observation period and returned negative test results. They have also been discharged.

The department said that no deaths were reported as a result of the outbreak and no recent infections have been uncovered.

The outbreak is believed to have originated in a hotel in the city of Huangshi at the beginning of October. All of those who were infected attended the same wedding banquet. An investigation concluded that a hotel employee serving cold dishes initially spread the infection, reports.

Cholera is a diarrheal illness caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholera. Every year, it is estimated that there are three to five million cases of the infection around the world. It is often mild, but can be life-threatening. The cholera bacterium is usually found in contaminated water or food sources, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.