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Cholera From Raw Oysters Shipped Interstate

Andrew T. Pavia, MD; John F. Campbell, MD; Paul A. Blake, MD, MPH; J. David Smith; Thomas W. McKinley, MPH; Deborah L. Martin, MN
JAMA. 1987;258(17):2374. doi:10.1001/jama.1987.03400170060012.
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To the Editor.—  We have investigated a case of cholera in Atlanta that apparently resulted from eating raw oysters harvested from the Gulf of Mexico. Previous outbreaks of cholera in the United States have been associated with eating improperly cooked crabs and shrimp,1 but because oysters are frequently eaten raw they represent a potentially important new vehicle of infection. Oysters are distributed widely and physicians should be alert to the possibility that cholera may occur in inland areas.

Report of a Case.—  On Nov 8, 1986, a healthy 28-year-old woman with no recent history of travel developed vomiting, abdominal cramps, and profuse watery diarrhea with 40 to 50 loose bowel movements per day. Toxicogenic Vibrio cholerae 01, the organism that causes cholera, was isolated from her stool. She recovered after outpatient therapy with oral rehydration and tetracycline. On Nov 5, she had eaten two dozen raw oysters at a local


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