Ekurhuleni City on high alert as cholera cases rise nationally
South Africa is experiencing a Cholera outbreak, and further cases have been reported in Ekurhuleni.
Since the disease’s emergence in the country, the country recorded over 15 deaths.
Residents in Ekurhuleni have been advised to improve their hygiene in order to help control the spread of the dreadful disease.
According to reports, the city has been on high alert since its first record of a Cholera epidemic in their neighboring district of Hammanskraal, where over 15 persons have died.
Ekurhuleni’s spokesperson Zweli Dlamini said the city’s outbreak response teams are ready to respond to any cholera cases detected.
Executive Mayor Cllr Sivuyile Ngodwana and MMC Leshaka Manamela, responsible for Water, Sanitation and Energy, this morning received the Deputy Minister for Water and Sanitation Judith Tshabalala #CoE for an oversight visit. #CoEWater #CoeWorks pic.twitter.com/5CSCfBQP2E
— CITY OF EKURHULENI (@City_Ekurhuleni) May 22, 2023
Dlamini said the city has ramped up health education for the empowerment of communities as well.
“Our water remains clean and safe to use,” Dlamini assures residents.
Meanwhile, the Department of Health confirmed a troubling increase in the cumulative number of positive cholera cases, which now stands at 22.
This includes newly detected cases in Gauteng and Free State’s Vredefort and Parys.
In response, government said provincial and district outbreak response teams in Gauteng and Free State have been dispatched to investigate the source of the outbreak.
The national Department, said Deputy Minister Tshabalala, is checking water and sanitation provision and will extend a helping hand where needed. Clean safe water is essential in a bid to avoid health issues like a cholera outbreak. #CoEWater #CoeWorks pic.twitter.com/QoVpVTHqZT
— CITY OF EKURHULENI (@City_Ekurhuleni) May 22, 2023
“The response teams will also intensify health education and promotion to empower community members with health information.”
While technical teams will be “working with the affected provinces in response to the outbreak”, the task team will “probe the cholera outbreak”.
The diarrhoeal disease, a widespread and often highly contagious condition affecting the stomach and intestines, is a primary cause of child mortality worldwide.
According to Unicef, more than 1.1 billion people are at risk of contracting cholera, with children under the age of 5 especially vulnerable.
It’s typically spread through contact with an infected individual, or by consuming contaminated food and water.
Symptoms usually appear within 12 to 48 hours after exposure and include diarrhea, cramps, nausea, vomiting and a mild fever.
Government urges citizens to avoid consuming food or water suspected to be contaminated, and to steer clear of surfaces which may be contaminated.
Frequent and thorough handwashing with soap, especially before handling food or after using the bathroom, is strongly encouraged to prevent possible infection.
“Never drink water from unsafe sources such as rivers, dams, streams, unless boiled or disinfected first,” warned the city officials.
The Department of Health will keep the public updated regarding the cholera outbreak.
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