In a concerning development, the death toll from a cholera outbreak in South Africa has risen to 26, with the latest fatality occurring in Hammanskraal, Tshwane, the epicenter of the bacterial disease.
The National Department of Health confirmed on Friday afternoon that the number of fatalities has reached 26 since the outbreak began two weeks ago.
Alarming reports indicate that neighboring provinces are also witnessing a gradual increase in cases. Last week, Mpumalanga recorded its first cholera-related death.
According to Scrolla.Africa, the initial case of cholera in Mpumalanga was detected on Thursday.
The patient, a 73-year-old individual from Mpumalanga, was admitted to Mamatlake Hospital, located near Hammanskraal.
Foster Mohale, the communications head of the health department, stated, “The department is conducting tracing investigations with a strong possibility that the Mpumalanga case is directly linked to the Hammanskraal outbreak.”
Authorities are further exploring the possibility of cross-border infections, suspecting that the first case might have been imported by travelers from Malawi.
A solitary case in Limpopo is believed to have originated from a Zimbabwean national, as Zimbabwe is currently grappling with its own cholera outbreak.
In response to the escalating situation, the Department of Health is urging all South Africans to adhere to strict personal hygiene practices and remain vigilant for early symptoms of cholera, which include diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach cramps. Individuals experiencing these symptoms are urged to promptly seek medical attention at the nearest healthcare facility.
While efforts are underway to contain the outbreak in the northern region of Pretoria, humanitarian organizations have stepped in to assist by providing water supplies.
The South African Female Bikers’ forum recently visited the affected area to donate bottled water and hygiene packs to the residents.
Additionally, Old Mutual and the Red Cross have generously contributed 100,000 liters of water and hygiene packs to support the affected population.
The Department of Health is continuing its investigation to identify the primary source of the outbreak, a crucial step in effectively managing the situation and preventing further spread.