Cholera report causes confusion

The headline "We were poisoned - miners" and story in your June 10 edition refer.

We have noted with concern the aspersion, intended or unintended, that your story cast with regard to the outbreak of cholera at Sheba mines near Barberton.

So we want to bring the following to your attention. The determination of an outbreak is a scientific process, done in line with national and World Health Organisation norms and standards.

We only confirm a case of cholera after laboratory tests and in this case it was confirmed as cholera.

No patient, even if he/she comes from a cholera-stricken area, is declared a cholera patient unless tests have been done and proved positive for the disease.

Claims made by the miners unfortunately have the potential to negate all efforts made in the area to contain the outbreak.

So we reject the notion that there is no cholera in the area, which may also mean that pronouncements made by MEC Fish Mahlalela, after engagement with expert teams working in the area, are false.

We ask Sowetan to report in a manner that does not harm efforts to contain the disease while respecting your editorial independence.

Mpho Gabashane,

Department of Health and Social Services