South African Health Authorities Confirm 19 New Cholera Cases, 10 Deaths
South African health authorities on Sunday announced 19 new Cholera cases have been reported in Hammanskraal, including 10 deaths, reported The Saltwire.
The first cholera death was reported in South Africa in February after the virus arrived in the country from Malawi.
The Department of Health in Pretoria´s Gauteng province said 95 people visited hospitals in Hammanskraal, an area north of the capital after they showed cholera symptoms which included diarrhea, nausea, and stomach cramps.
On Sunday, the health department announced in a statement that at least 19 were cases of cholera and that 37 people were still undergoing treatment.
It currently remains unclear how many cholera cases were there nationally as of Sunday, but the most populous province of Gauteng has been hardest hit.
Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko, the provincial head for health, said more medics, nurses were being sent to the affected areas to deal with the outbreak, which was centered in Hammanskraal, an area north of Pretoria.
“We would like to reiterate and urge the public to avoid known or suspected contaminated food, water, and surfaces and wash hands thoroughly with soap before handling food or after using the bathroom,” said the South African health official.
Cholera can cause acute diarrhea, vomiting, and weakness. The virus mainly spreads by contaminated food or water.
According to the United Nations, Cholera has experienced a global resurgence since 2021 after a decade of steady decline. The organization warned that one billion people in 43 countries were at risk.
South Africa’s last cholera outbreak was reported in 2008-2009 during which over 12,000 cases were reported. The origin of the outbreak was in neighboring Zimbabwe, which led to a surge of imported cases and subsequent local transmission.
South African health authorities reported a few cases this year after outbreaks in nearby Malawi and Mozambique – the two most heavily affected countries in 2023.