Cholera Outbreak: Gogo,73, dies as cholera spreads to Mpumalanga - death toll now 25

Mpumalanga has recorded one fatality in the first case of cholera recorded in the province. File image: Pexels

Mpumalanga has recorded one fatality in the first case of cholera recorded in the province. File image: Pexels

Published Jun 1, 2023


Pretoria - The National Department of Health has confirmed the first case of cholera detected in Mpumalanga province, with one fatality.

The patient, who was infected with cholera, has “unfortunately, passed away”, according to Foster Mohale, spokesperson for the Minister of Health, Dr Joe Phaahla.

“The deceased was a 73-year-old female from Mamatlake Hospital, which is close to the Hammanskraal area.

“This brings the death toll to 25.”

The Department of Health has, once again, appealed to the community to heighten hygienic practices in the wake of the spreading outbreak of cholera.

Earlier, IOL reported that the Limpopo province has also recorded its first case of cholera, as the disease continues to cause havoc in Gauteng, particularly in the Hammanskraal area.

The Limpopo case has been confirmed by the National Institute of Communicable Diseases, according to Thilivhali Muavha, spokesperson for the Limpopo MEC for Health Dr Phophi Ramathuba.

“The case was confirmed at Musina Hospital. A 26-year-old Zimbabwean national presented at Musina Hospital on the 26th of May, 2023, with extreme diarrhoea, vomiting, and dehydration. He was admitted, isolated, and treated while specimens were sent to the NICD for test,” said Muavha.

“Although the test results came out positive (on Tuesday), the patient has since improved and is due to be discharged.

“This positive case did not come as a surprise following reports that Beitbridge District in neighbouring Zimbabwe is one of those districts that have reported outbreaks, and the department did confirm the state of readiness at Musina Hospital.”

Muavha said the state of readiness has also been strengthened at Bela Bela Hospital, which is bordering Gauteng's Hammanskraal area, where a number of cases and fatalities have also been recorded.

“The department is strengthening its outbreak response work by means of surveillance and also conducting health promotions working with local stakeholders in the hotspots area, including the Beitbridge border post. The department has also met with the Vhembe District Municipality about the need to regularly conduct water tests as a preventative measure,” he said.

Meanwhile, MEC Ramathuba has appealed to community members across Limpopo to remain calm and heighten hygienic practices.

“We are calling upon all our communities to remain calm and vigilant by practising basic hygiene, hand washing, drinking safe water,” said Ramathuba.

The World Health Organization defines cholera as an infectious disease caused by the bacterium “Vibrio cholerae”, which manifests itself primarily through two key symptoms: severe watery diarrhoea and vomiting.

Affected individuals often experience frequent, profuse bowel movements, resulting in rapid dehydration and electrolyte imbalances. Other symptoms may include abdominal cramps, nausea and fatigue. The severity of symptoms can range from mild to life-threatening.

Government is yet to locate the source of the deadly cholera outbreak that has claimed at least 25 lives in South Africa.