To: Editors & Health Journalists
Issued by: Department of Health
Date: Wednesday, 05 July 2023

Health Department provides update on Cholera outbreak in South Africa

Pretoria: The Department of Health has noted a significant decline in the number of both suspected and confirmed cholera cases around the country in the past few weeks, with only one confirmed positive cholera case recorded out of 28 new suspected cases in the past 10 days.

This doesn`t mean the transmission of cholera is over, and members of the public are urged to remain vigilant and exercise personal hygiene at all times, especially when preparing and serving food during mass gatherings.

The department and its stakeholders will continue with the efforts and interventions to prevent new infections mainly through health education and targeted case finding activities.

The country has recorded a total cumulative number of 1073 suspected cases of cholera in five provinces, of which 198 of them were laboratory-confirmed between 1st of February and 4 July 2023.

Gauteng Province is leading with 176 cases mostly from Hammanskraal in Tshwane, Free State 11, North West 6 cases, Limpopo 4 cases and 1 case in Mpumalanga. The cases have been diagnosed at both public (94%; 186/198) and private (6%; 12/198) laboratories.

In terms of mortality rate, a total cumulative number of deaths related to cholera outbreak (both suspected and confirmed) stands at 47 as of Tuesday, 04 Juy 2023, and 4 new suspected deaths have been recorded (all in Free State) since the last reporting on Sunday, 25 June 2023.

The deaths distribution is presented below:

NB: A confirmed case of cholera is defined asĀ 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.

In terms of gender distribution of cholera cases/patients, females accounted for 52% which translates into 102 out of 198 confirmed cases. Age group 41-50 years accounted for 23% (46 out of 198) cases, followed by 31-40 years at 17% (33/198) and lastly 60 years and aboveĀ  at 13& (26/198).

Meanwhile, the department also urges all those involved in the running of initiation schools to work closely with healthcare workers in the best of initiates to ensure that this important cultural practice takes place in compliance with relevant health and safety regulations, especially personal hygiene and provision of clean water from reliable sources to prevent the outbreak and transmission of waterborne diseases like cholera

For media enquiries, please contact:

Mr Foster Mohale
Health Departmental Spokesperson

Mr Doctor Tshwale
Spokesperson for Health Minister
063 657 8487