To: Health Editors & Journalists
Issued by: Departments of Health
Date: Wednesday, 29 March 2023

Health Department confirms four new cases of Cholera

The Department of Health confirms that four new laboratory-confirmed cases of Cholera have been detected in Gauteng, and this increases the total number of positive cases from six to ten, including one death.

Cases number seven and eight are a couple (49 year-old man and 38 year-old woman) from Diepsloot who were admitted at Helen Joseph Hospital on Tuesday, 21 March with acute watery diarrhoea and severe dehydration. During the investigation, both the wife and husband mentioned being baptized at Jukskei River with additional six people on 18 March 2023, and they experienced health complications few days later.

Case number nine is a 10-year-old girl child from Katlehong in Ekurhuleni District who presented with diarrhoea, nausea and vomiting at Mpilweni Private Hospital on 19 March 2023. She was admitted and her test results confirmed positive status. It was established during the investigation that her mother was admitted at Thelle Mogoerane Hospital on 17 March and was treated for different health conditions, unfortunately passed away the following day.

Although, cholera was not suspected by the clinicians as a result, no stool samples were taken for processing. It was also established that the girl and her mother were baptized with other church members at Klipriver a week earlier.

Case number ten is a 50-year-old woman residing at Diepsloot. She is the pastor who baptized the couple who tested positive from Diepsloot at Jukskei River, and she also drank the same water from the river. She was detected by the health response team during contact tracing and field investigation, having diarrhea and vomiting. Although, she was not admitted in hospital but her stool was taken for laboratory testing and the results came back positive.

All four patients have no recent international travel history, which suggests a strong possibility of local transmission or infection. All four patients are recovering at home and are in a stableĀ  condition.

The suspected source of local cholera infections is water from Jukskei River and Kilpriver. The Environmental Health Practitioners will collect water samples from the two rivers for analysis in order to establish if indeed the water in contaminated with cholera, and the department will announce the results as soon as they are available.

The department will also intensify the refresher training amongst the clinicians about cholera, especially in the affected health districts of Gauteng. The Health Outbreak Response Team will continue with contact tracing and social mobilisation activities in the affected communities to empower the residents with health education about the disease, prevention methods and management measures to prevent possible widespread outbreaks. Meanwhile, the residents are urged to avoid drinking or using untreated water from flowing rivers and dams to prepare food.

All people from the affected areas and beyond, who experience cholera-like symptoms which include diarrhoea dehydration, vomiting and body weakness are urged to visit their nearest health facilities (clinic or hospital) for screening and testing to ensure early detection and successful treatment, if test positive.

For more information and media enquiries, please contact:
Mr Foster Mohale
Health Departmental Spokesperson
Mr Doctor Tshwale
Spokesperson for Health Minister
063 657 8487