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Suspected cholera oubreak in Bloemhof

Bloemhof, North West - Over two hundred people in Bloemhof reported to local clinics with symptoms of cholera, the North West health department said on Wednesday.

“A hundred people on Monday reported to local clinics around Bloemhof with cases of severe diarrhoea and symptoms of cholera,” said health spokesman Tebogo Lekgethwane.

File photo: More than one billion people are thought to be at risk of cholera in more than 50 countries where it is endemic. Credit: Associated Press

On Tuesday another 100 people were attended to at clinics.

“The numbers started to drop on Wednesday where about 35 people were seen in local clinics,” said Lekgethwane.

He said the North West health department experienced a shortage of medicine since Monday in Boitumelong township. and two other clinics in Bloemhof.

“We store antibiotics and other medicine to a certain level, and our medicine store is in Mahikeng, but on Wednesday the medication issue was resolved,” he said.

Lekgethwane said running water in the area was cut off.

“Running water has been cut off as we suspect that there might be a case of contamination in the water. Water is being distributed in water tanks to residents.”

He said water samples were taken for tests to determine whether there was a cholera outbreak.

Lekgethwane said some private doctors told television journalists that there was a cholera outbreak.

“Some private doctors said on national television that there is a cholera outbreak in Bloemhof. The patients show signs of cholera but one cannot come to that conclusion unless they have laboratory results.”

He said the contamination could be caused by a burst sewage pipe.

The Dr Ruth Mompati district municipality has dispatched a team of experts to Bloemhof.

The team includes engineers and environmental officers.

Raw sewage water from Bloemhof and Boitumelong township has been flowing into the Vaal river since last Friday.

Sapa

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