Sunday, June 23, 2024

South Africa issues Cholera warning as death toll from outbreak hits 50

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Elvis Adjetey
Elvis Adjetey
Elvis Adjetey is an experienced African journalist who has worked with top media brands in Ghana where he is based.

South Africa has issued a warning over Cholera outbreak after a winter outbreak left 50 people dead.

Local media reported that most of the deaths over the last six weeks in the Hammanskraal community in Gauteng Province.

Residents there have battled for weeks to access to clean water, but there have been several cases across the country.

In many communities, tap water is unsafe and people are forced to rely on government tankers.

The health authorities in South Africa are urging residents of the province of Gauteng to be vigilant about the liquids they consume.

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Unions and community groups have demanded more government intervention to improve water quality.

Bringing the cholera cases down

Last week, the Health Department said it is working to bring the cholera cases under control.

“A suspected case of cholera is a person of any age with or dying from acute watery diarrhoea with or without vomiting. In areas where a cholera outbreak has been declared, any person presenting with or dying from acute watery diarrhoea meets the criteria of a suspected case,” the department explained in a statement.

According to data, only one confirmed positive cholera case was recorded out of 28 new suspected infections in the past 10 days.

“This doesn’t mean the transmission of cholera is over, and members of the public are urged to remain vigilant and exercise personal hygiene at all times, especially when preparing and serving food during mass gatherings,” the statement read.

Data shows that the country has recorded a total cumulative number of 1 073 suspected cases of cholera in five provinces, of which 198 of them were laboratory-confirmed between 1 February and 4 July 2023.

Gauteng is leading with 176 infections mostly from Hammanskraal in Tshwane, while 11 were recorded in Free State, six in the North West, four in Limpopo and one in Mpumalanga.

In terms of gender distribution, females accounted for 52%, which translates into 102 out of 198 confirmed cases. Cholera, which is mainly spread by contaminated food and water, causes acute diarrhoea and vomiting and can kill within hours if untreated.

WHO switches to one dose of cholera vaccine as outbreaks surge


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