Tshwane metro warns of cholera outbreak in Zim

Henry

The national department of health has warned South Africans to be prepared and take the necessary precautions after continuous outbreaks of cholera have been reported in neighboring countries, especially Zimbabwe.

Rina Marx, the Tshwane metro mayoral committee member for health, also says residents should make sure they take the necessary precautions, “as cross-border travel is expected to increase over the festive period”.

“Cholera is transmitted through water or food contaminated with the cholera bacteria (vibrio cholera) is infected. Symptoms include watery diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, dehydration and muscle cramps. It can be treated with intravenous fluids to hydrate and antibiotics. Early treatment is critically important,” says Marx.

“If you are unsure about the quality of water, boil the water before you use it.

“Wash fruits, vegetables and meat with boiled water before using them. Good hygiene is important to prevent the spread of cholera.”

She says the department has already introduced measures to ensure the speedy treatment of possible cholera cases.

  • Clinical staff have been warned to remain vigilant and follow relevant guidelines if community members with watery diarrhea are present at clinics.
  • A communications team will share cholera prevention e-cards on social media platforms.
  • Newly hired peer educators are in the process of receiving in-service training, including various health promotion and educational messages.
  • Municipal health service teams are ready to respond to requests for water quality monitoring.

Marx says that while the department’s efforts remain focused on preventative measures, outbreak response teams are ready if needed.

‚ÄúCholera is highly preventable and treatable if detected early. Please be vigilant,” says Marx.