The Health Bureau (SSM) said in a statement Thursday that it is “very concerned” about the findings in water samples taken from the sea at Coloane’s Hac Sa Beach that have been found to contain the Vibrio cholerae bacterium which causes cholera.
The bureau pointed out that so far it has not recorded any cases of cholera resulting from the Hac Sa Beach case. The bureau will continue to closely monitor whether any cholera cases resulting from case will occur, the statement said.
The Marine and Water Bureau (DSAMA) first announced in a statement on Tuesday that it had received a report from the Civic and Municipal Affairs Bureau (IACM) that test results from water samples taken from the sea at Hac Sa Beach proved positive for Vibrio cholerae – which causes the acute diarrhoea disease.
Tuesday’s DSAMA statement noted that the Marine and Water Bureau has reported the findings to the Disease Prevention and Control Centre of the Health Bureau and that it has hoisted the red flag at the beach – which means that residents are advised not to swim there.
Notices have also been put up at the beach to remind residents about the bacterial menace, the statement said.
Yesterday’s SSM statement noted that the Vibrio cholerae bacterium has multiple strains – among which serogroups 01 and 0139 can cause cholera.
According to yesterday’s SSM statement, the Vibrio cholerae bacterium that has been found in the water samples is of serogroup 01.
Thursday´s SSM statement noted that the incubation period of cholera ranges from a few hours to five days – usually two to three days. Cholera is primarily contracted through the consumption of food and water contaminated with the bacterium, the statement said.
The statement noted that without prompt treatment a cholera patient may die from severe dehydration.
The statement said that while “in theory” those swimming in the waters contaminated with the bacterium may contract cholera, such cases resulting from this kind of situation have rarely been recorded.
The statement also said that the Health Bureau has not recorded any cholera cases resulting from the Hac Sa Beach incident so far. The statement urged residents to pay close attention to the matter, but was quick to reassure residents that they do not need to worry about it too much.
The statement noted that eight cases of cholera caused by serogroup 01 were recorded in 1998 and that the eight cases were not caused by swimming at local beaches.
The statement underlined that there have been multiple occasions in which water samples taken from the sea at the city’s beaches were found to contain the Vibrio cholerae bacterium over the past two decades, adding that no cholera cases were recorded in Macau after 1998.