Two cases of cholera have been confirmed in Limpopo province on two Zimbabwean patients who recently arrived in South Africa after travelling for year-end festivities in Zimbabwe.
Provincial health spokesperson in Limpopo, Thilivhali Muavha said the two patients are men, aged 43 and 27.
“The Limpopo Department of Health would like to inform the public about two newly confirmed cases of cholera in the province,” he said.
“The patients, both Zimbabwean men, aged 43 and 27, who upon their return from the festivities presented to Musina and Hellen Franz Hospitals, respectively, with cholera-like symptoms.”
When the two men visited the Limpopo health facilities, they were “immediately” admitted and tested.
“Cholera is a highly infectious and potentially life-threatening disease caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae,” Muavha said.
“The most common symptoms include severe diarrhoea, vomiting, and dehydration. If left untreated, cholera can lead to severe complications and even death.”
He said when health practitioners at the two institutions became aware of the suspected cholera cases, immediate measures were taken to ensure the patients' admission and treatment in accordance with established protocols.
“Our medical teams are closely monitoring their condition and providing the necessary medical care to facilitate their recovery,” said Muavha.
“We would like to emphasise that cholera is primarily transmitted through contaminated food and water. Therefore, it is crucial for individuals to practice good hygiene, such as washing hands frequently with soap and clean water, especially before eating or preparing food.”
Additionally, it is recommended that people only consume properly cooked food, and drink safe, treated water.
“We urge the public to remain calm, but vigilant, and to promptly seek medical attention if they or anyone they know experience symptoms consistent with cholera,” said Muavha.
“Early diagnosis and treatment are vital in minimising the impact of the disease and preventing its spread.
Regular updates will be provided as new information becomes available,” he said.
Neighbouring Zimbabwe is currently battling a cholera outbreak, with the country’s Health and Child Care ministry updating over the weekend that more that more than 17,700 suspected cases had been recorded, and 318 suspected cholera deaths.
The Newsday newspaper reported that of the these figures, 2,037 cases and 68 deaths were laboratory confirmed in Zimbabwe.