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South Korea confirms first cholera case by overseas traveler in 2019

South Korean health authorities said Friday that the first confirmed case of cholera was brought into the country by a traveler.

A 54-year-old Korean woman who returned home on Tuesday from India showed symptoms of watery diarrhea, with tests confirming she was infected by the V. cholera 01 Ogawa bacteria, the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.  


Cholera is a highly infectious disease that affects the small intestine and in severe cases can lead to death. Typical symptoms are diarrhea, vomiting and muscle cramps, with many patients suffering from severe dehydration. From 2003, almost all cases discovered in South Korea were from people who went abroad, with five cases being confirmed in 2017 and two cases last year.

KCDC said it is closely monitoring all people that the patient has come in contact with on the plane and back in South Korea. It has ordered clinics and hospitals to report suspected cases.

"Cholera, while life-threatening in certain cases, can be prevented by proper sanitation practices, like hand washing and safe eating habits," the state agency said. It said all people visiting countries with cholera outbreaks should visit the National Quarantine Station if they feel unwell. (Yonhap)