The Deputy Minister of Health, Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo urges members of the public to be vigilant and maintain personal hygiene as country records two laboratory-confirmed cases of cholera in Limpopo.
Both cases are imported from Zimbabwe.
The first case was confirmed in the Musina sub-district in Vhembe District. The 43-year-old male patient tested positive and has since been discharged from Musina hospital.
The second case is a 27-year-old man, also from Zimbabwe who presented at Hellen Franz hospital under Capricorn District Municipality, with history of abdominal cramps, watery diarrhoea and vomiting that started on 11 January 2024.
The patient travelled to Zimbabwe on 9 December 2023 and returned to South Africa on 10 January 2024. His health condition is stable and still in isolation at the hospital. His contacts were identified, and the local outbreak response team has been activated to conduct further investigations and provide health education to contacts.
The country remains on high alert of possible imported cholera cases from the neighbouring Zimbabwe which is currently battling the outbreak of the disease which has so far claimed over 200 lives.
The department in collaboration with the Border Management Authority, has intensified health screening at Beitbridge border post to mitigate against the imported cholera cases from Zimbabwe.
Deputy Minister Dhlomo thanks these suspected cholera patients for being honest with their travel history and full cooperation with health officials and appeals to all those with travel history to cholera outbreak areas to do the same in order save lives and prevent further transmission to other people.
“We say to all travellers along N1 from Musina and other parts of the country, please avoid using known or suspected contaminated surfaces especially in public places and wash hands thoroughly with soap before handling food or after using the bathroom to prevent possible infection”, said Deputy Minister Dlhomo.
All people who experience cholera-like symptoms (stomach cramps, diarrhoea, and dehydration and vomiting), with or without travel history to cholera endemic countries and areas, are also urged to present themselves to the nearest health facilities without delays. Never drink water from unsafe sources such as rivers, dams, streams, unless boiled or disinfected first.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Republic of South Africa: Department of Health.