Mzansi records first death tied to cholera outbreak

South-Africa has recorded its first cholera related death, as the number of laboratory confirmed- cases rises to five.

According to a statement issued by the ministry of health, the deceased is a 24 year old male residing in Emandleni Wattville, Benoni in Ekurhuleni with no travel history. The death follows an announcement of three cases a few weeks ago.

“A specimen was collected for testing and the patient was not admitted at the hospital but managed as an outpatient and given treatment to take home, and requested to return for his results which came back positive.”

The outbreak response team conducted a case investigation visited the patient’s residence and workplace the following day. “The patient presented with profuse watery diarrhea and was admitted at Tambo Memorial Hospital. His results confirmed positive status and sadly he passed away few days later. “

“The body of the deceased will be transported to KwaZulu-Natal for burial and health officials will advise the bereaved family and undertakers of the safe burial precautions to prevent the spread of the disease.” One of his contacts is still in hospital and further investigation is being conducted.  Cholera mainly spreads through contaminated/polluted water.

“People can become infected directly through drinking contaminated water, or indirectly through eating contaminated food.”

 Symptoms include diarrhoea dehydration, vomiting and body weakness.

Members of the public are reminded to maintain hand hygiene to prevent possible transmission. The statement further indicated at people who experience cholera-like symptoms, with or without local or international travel history, are encouraged immediately visit their nearest health facility for screening and testing to ensure early detection and successful treatment, if test positive.

Written by Thapelo Magola

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