Cholera death toll in SA now 31

Cholera death toll in SA now 31

South Africa's cholera death toll has climbed to 31.

Cholera /iStock

The National Department of Health says 29 of the deaths are in Gauteng, while the Free State and Mpumalanga have recorded one death each.

Spokesperson Foster Mohale says since the beginning of February, 166 confirmed cases and 202 suspected cases have been recorded in five provinces.

"Majority of cases were recorded in Gauteng which accounts for at least 92% or 152 cases, while Free State Province accounts for 5% which translates into 9 cases. Other provinces which recorded positive cases include Limpopo (1), Mpumalanga (1) and North West (3). 

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"Majority of these cases were diagnosed at public laboratories. The ages of patients in Gauteng range from 1 year to 91 years, while in Free State ranges from 10 to 50 years. So far, more than 600 people with suspected cholera symptoms have been seen in Gauteng and Free State hospitals.

"The setting-up of well-equipped temporary field health facility (Kanana Cholera Treatment Centre) which is the epicentre in Hammanskraal, has not only relieved pressure at Jubilee hospital, but also contributed to improved health-seeking behaviour amongst community members with suspected to cholera symptoms.

"Over 200 people have been seen at this makeshift hospital. The facility has been operating 24/7 since 26 May." 

The department says it's still trying to establish the cause of the outbreak.

It says it's working with various groups including UNICEF and Doctors Without Borders in its response.

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