Thursday, July 18, 2024

South Africa: Cholera Death Toll Rises to 17 in Hammanskraal

The Gauteng Department of Health says the number of people, who have lost their lives following a cholera outbreak in Hammanskraal, north of Pretoria, now stands at 17.

As of 23 May 2023, the provincial department said 165 patients have been seen at Jubilee District Hospital, including 18 that have been transferred to other health facilities in Tshwane.

According to the latest update, the number of laboratory-confirmed cases of cholera stands at 29, while 67 patients are currently for gastrointestinal infection.

“The department continues to urge people to ensure proper hand hygiene, which includes thorough washing of hands with water and soap or alcohol-based sanitiser, before handling food and after using the toilet,” the Health Department said.

It is also calling on the public to report to their nearest health facilities when they present with diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps and dehydration symptoms, so they can receive medical treatment.

“We further reiterate the call for the public to avoid consuming known or suspected contaminated food and water.”

SAnews reported on Tuesday that Gauteng and Free State are the hardest hit, while another case of cholera has been detected in another province yet to be confirmed.

South Africa reported its first cholera death in February after the virus arrived in the country from Malawi.

Addressing the media on Tuesday, the Head of the Centre for Enteric Diseases at the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), Dr Juno Thomas, said the hallmark of cholera is acute watery diarrhoea.