The death toll from the cholera outbreak in Hammanskraal climbed to 15t, the Gauteng Health Department confirmed Monday. The outbreak in the area was confirmed on Sunday.
“By Sunday night 37 people were admitted to hospital. Another update will be given at midday,” says Gauteng Health Department Spokesman Motalatale Modiba.
He urged anyone exhibiting symptoms of diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting, or stomach cramps to visit their nearest clinic or hospital immediately.
Cholera typically causes acute watery diarrhoea and can affect people of all ages. It mainly spreads through contaminated/polluted water. People can become infected directly through drinking contaminated water or indirectly through eating contaminated food.
The infection is often mild or without symptoms but can sometimes be severe and life-threatening. An outbreak usually occurs in settings with inadequate sanitation and insufficient access to safe drinking water.
Modiba says 95 people with similar symptoms from Kanana, Suurman, Majaneng, Green Field, Carousel View, Lephengville and Sekampaneng were treated.
WATER TESTED FOR CHOLERA
Hammanskraal residents have been urged not to drink tap water in their area. The water is currently being tested to determine the source of the outbreak. The results are expected by Wednesday.
People have also been warned never to drink water from unsafe sources such as rivers, dams, or streams unless boiled or disinfected
“We continue to urge communities that it is important to maintain hand hygiene. Wash your hands thoroughly. Surfaces should also be sanitised thoroughly.”
On Sunday Health Mec Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko visited Jubilee District Hospital with other health officials to intervene to increase the hospital’s response capacity to the cholera outbreak.
Two additional wards were made available to accommodate patients who could not be immediately admitted.
“We have also mobilised additional resources which include medical and nursing staff from surrounding hospitals and local clinics to improve capacity for the growing need for medical care. Furthermore, additional linen has been delivered from the provincial laundry to activate the extra beds,” says Nkomo-Ralehoko.
FREE STATE ALSO SEES AN OUTBREAK
Meanwhile, Free State MEC for Health Mathabo Leeto has activated teams to curb the spread of cholera in Vredefort and Parys as well as surrounding areas of Fezile Dabi.
In a statement, it was confirmed that six people tested positive and were successfully treated at Parys Hospital and Boitumelo Hospital in Kroonstad.
A total of 76 people were seen at various clinics and hospitals in the district. Leeto confirmed there were no cholera-related deaths in the Free State.
“The Free State is in the most vulnerable position as it is in the centre of the country surrounded by 6 provinces (Gauteng, Mpumalanga, Eastern Cape, KZN, Northern Cape, North West) and the Kingdom of Lesotho. We have 5 national key roads (N1, N3, N5, N6 and N8) that connect the country and the Kingdom of Lesotho, so we have to be on the alert as we get affected by whatever is happening around us” she says. – Health-e News
“We have to work together consistently to curb any potential spread of infections and also make sure that the identified cases get treated immediately,” concluded Leeto.