The National Department of Health (NDoH) announced on Thursday that the first case of cholera has been detected in Mpumalanga and that the patient has unfortunately passed away.
According to a brief statement, the deceased was a 73-year-old female from Phake Thabeng in Dr JS Moroka.
The department said the elderly woman was admitted to Mmametlhake Hospital on 26 May after complaining of diarrhoea, nausea and vomiting after eating a meal during the day.
“She was a known patient on hypertension treatment. A cholera sample was taken and forwarded to the laboratory for investigation. The interim result showed cholera positive.”
The woman passed away on Tuesday, 30 May, at the hospital, which is close to Hammanskraal.
This brings the death toll to 25 since the cholera outbreak in Hammanskraal, north of Pretoria. Of the deaths, 23 are from Hammanskraal, one in the Free State and one in Mpumalanga.
“Members of the public are urged to remain vigilant and exercise personal hygiene, while those experiencing cholera symptoms are urged to present themselves to the nearest health facility,” the NDoH said.
The Mpumalanga Health Department said the NDoH has since deployed an Outbreak Response Team in Dr JS Moroka to investigate possible sources of infection, contact tracing and conduct intensive community awareness campaigns.
Communities are advised to be on high alert for cholera, which is one of the diarrhoea diseases caused by the bacteria called Vibrio cholerae.
Symptoms include sudden diarrhoea, which is painless, watery diarrhoea (rice stool), nausea and vomiting, and fever among children, and some individuals do not feel ill.
The disease spreads through the ingestion or drinking of contaminated water with human faeces.
The illness, according to the department, may start from a few hours to five days of infection.
“Anyone who presents with diarrhoea, nausea and vomiting should immediately seek medical assistance at the local health facility.” – SAnews.gov.za
Source: South African Government News Agency