To: Editors & Health Journalists
Issued by: Department of Health
Date: Sunday, 25 June 2023

Update on Cholera outbreak in South Africa

Pretoria: The Department of Health is pleased with the progress made with regards to concerted efforts of interventions put in place to curb the transmission of cholera disease and mortality rate which have significantly declined in the past few weeks around country.

The focus has been on preventing further person-to-person transmission of the disease which has contributed to the detection of laboratory-confirmed infections in most areas, especially where there is no reported cholera outbreak.

The country has recorded a total cumulative number of 1045 suspected cases of cholera in 15 out of 52 districts across five provinces, of which 197 of them were laboratory-confirmed.

Gauteng Province accounts for most of the cases at 89% with 176 reported from three districts. Free State Province accounts for 6% with 11 of the cases, reported from one Fezile Dabi District, North West has recorded 5 cases, Limpopo 4 cases and one case in Mpumalanga.

The cumulative number of deaths related to cholera outbreak (both suspected and confirmed) stands at 43 as of Friday, 23 June, and the distribution is presented below:

NB: A confirmed case of cholera is defined as the laboratory-confirmed presence of cholera bacteria called Vibrio cholerae in any patient with diarrhoea.

A suspected case of cholera is a person of any age with or dying from acute watery diarrhoea with or without vomiting. In areas where a cholera outbreak has been declared, any person presenting with or dying from acute watery diarrhoea meets the criteria of a suspected case.

The case fatality rate stands at 3,5%. In terms of age distribution of cholera cases, the age group of 41-50 years accounts for 23% (46/197) of cases; followed by 31-40 years at 17% (33/197) and 51-60 years at 12% (23/197).

The department appeals to the general public to maintain strict compliance with personal hygiene especially during food preparation at social gatherings and funerals since majority of positives cases and the deaths had causal links with funeral service attendance in the outbreak communities.

For media enquiries, please contact:
Mr Foster Mohale
Health Departmental Spokesperson
0724323792
Foster.mohale@health.gov.za

Mr Doctor Tshwale
Spokesperson for Health Minister
063 657 8487
Doctor.Tshwale@health.gov.za