Health officials say three-year-old among 10 who have died from disease
South African health authorities said Sunday that an outbreak of cholera has killed 10 people in Hammanskraal, north of the capital Pretoria.
According to a statement by the Gauteng Provincial Health Department, 37 people are currently admitted at Jubilee District Hospital with cholera symptoms.
The department said lab results of stool specimens taken from 19 patients confirmed that it is cholera and a three-year-old child is among the 10 people who have died from the disease.
Gauteng province includes Pretoria and Johannesburg, the largest city in South Africa.
Health authorities said that since last Monday, 97 people have been admitted to Jubilee District Hospital with symptoms of diarrhea, stomach cramps and vomiting.
Cholera is an acute diarrheal infection caused by the bacteria Vibrio cholerae, and outbreaks usually occur in settings with inadequate sanitation and insufficient access to safe drinking water. If left untreated, it could cause death.
Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko, member of the Executive Council for Health and Wellness in Gauteng province, urged residents to take extra measures and maintain proper hygiene and not drink unsafe water.
This is the second time South Africa has confirmed a cholera outbreak this year. In February, health authorities recorded two confirmed cases of cholera imported from neighboring Malawi, where an outbreak had claimed hundreds of lives.
South Africa reported its worst cholera outbreak over a decade ago with about 12,000 cases following an outbreak in neighboring Zimbabwe, according to the health department.
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