Cholera cases on the rise in South Africa

South Africa has recorded 46 suspected cholera cases and five laboratory-confirmed cases between 1 January 2024 and 1 February , health minister Dr Joe Phaahla said on Monday.


Health Minister, Joe Phaala, briefed the media on Monday. He said three of these cases (27 years-old man, 38 years-old woman and a 43 years-old) were imported from neighbouring country, Zimbabwe which is currently battling the outbreak of this diarrheal disease.

The other two, says Phaala (11 years-old and 13 years-old) are siblings with no travel history to cholera outbreak areas, which suggests, he says, the risk of contact with a known cholera case.

‘’Four of these cases were detected in Limpopo hospitals (Musina and Helene Frans Hospital), and the other one was confirmed in Helen Joseph hospital in Gauteng. The 3rd and 4th cases are from Blouberg Local Municipality in Limpopo are epidemiologically linked, and a cluster of 24 diarrhoeal disease cases was also identified during outbreak response activities at a primary and high school in the same municipal area on the 31st of January 2024.  The test results are still pending.’

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases said from the beginning of the year, there has been more than 20,000 cases reported from 12 African countries, including Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Zambia and Malawi. The NICD said there was an increased risk of importation of cholera to South Africa due to high number of travellers returning to South Africa and trade between South Africa and affected countries.

‘’The local outbreak response teams have been activated to strengthen the investigation to conduct active case finding and contact tracing, to determine the source of infection where there is no travel history, and to institute control measures to avert further local transmission.  All public and private health facilities are urged to remain vigilant due to potential high risk of cholera transmission.’’

Health Minister, Joe Phaala, urged the public not to panic

‘’However, the Department calls for more vigilance amongst members of the community, exercise caution and maintain proper personal hygiene practices especially amongst children at home and at schools. The country remains on high alert for possible surge in cases at community level.’’


Done By: Mitchum George


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