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National Cholera and Vibriosis Surveillance

Infection with pathogenic species of the family Vibrionaceae can cause two distinct categories of infection: cholera and vibriosis, both of which are nationally notifiable. Confirmed cases of Vibrio infection should be reported to CDC using the Cholera and Other Vibrio Illness Surveillance Report [PDF - 4 pages] Form.

Surveillance for cholera and vibriosis is done using the Cholera and Other Vibrio Illness Surveillance system (COVIS). COVIS was initiated by CDC, FDA, and the Gulf Coast states (Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, and Texas) in 1988 (3). By the early 2000s, several years before vibriosis became nationally notifiable, almost all states were voluntarily reporting. CDC maintains COVIS to obtain reliable information on illnesses associated with a species in the family Vibrionaceae; we provide this information, which includes risk groups, risk exposures, and trends to regulatory and to other prevention agencies.

Using the COVIS report form, participating health officials report clinical data, including information about underlying illness; detailed history of seafood consumption, exposure to a body of water, exposure to drippings from raw or live seafood, or other contact with marine life in the 7 days before illness onset; and traceback information on implicated seafood. This information is used to develop information to educate consumers about the health risks of seafood, as well as to help determine host, food, and environmental risk factors.

CDC serotypes all V. parahaemolyticus isolates received from state health departments. For V. cholerae, CDC tests for serogroups O1, O75, O139, and O141, and determines whether cholera toxin is present. Although all Vibrio infections are nationally notifiable, many cases are likely not recognized and reported because Vibrios are not easily identified on routine enteric media. and more about Vibrio. More about Cholera and More about Vibrio.

Surveillance Overview

Cholera and Other Vibrio Illness Surveillance (COVIS) Overview [PDF - 3 pages]

Annual Summaries and Reports

Annual Summaries and Report Forms: Cholera

Annual Summaries and Report Forms: Vibrio