Health teams scramble as suspected cholera case emerges in Gqeberha, patient in isolation

Published Dec 7, 2023


The Eastern Cape Department of Health remains on high alert after they detected a possible cholera case involving a 47-year-old woman.

It is believed that the woman did not travel outside the province.

The patient from Walmer, a township in Gqeberha, has since been admitted in isolation on contact precautions at Livingstone Hospital, pending the toxigenicity results from the National Institute for Communicable Diseases.

“She remains in a stable condition. The team will work with the municipality to conduct contact tracing. The patient stays with a minor and has a history of funeral attendance a week ago. However, she had not travelled outside the city. Health environmental services have already taken samples from wastewater treatment sources for laboratory testing, and results came back negative from cholera. The department wishes to emphasise the fact that no other case or sickness has been reported from the area. Health teams will now engage in public awareness using community radio stations and also with the municipality,” said department spokesperson Sizwe Kupelo.

While no other cases have been detected, the department has activated highly trained outbreak response and health promotion teams on the ground as a precautionary measure.

Members of the public have been urged to practise good hygiene, washing hands with soap, and safe water.

The department says they must also be sure of drinking clean and safe water.

Symptoms of cholera include watery diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting, and dehydration. If left untreated, it may lead to death. It can spread through contaminated food and water.

Cape Times