Only tap water is safe for consumption
The number of people who have died from cholera in Mpumalanga has risen to 19, the province's health MEC Fish Mahlalela, said.
Mahlalela said yesterday 16 deaths occurred in Bushbuckridge's Matikwane Hospital, two in Mapulaneng and one in Mmametlhake.
"Over and above these deaths we have also seen 642 cases of diarrhoea at our facilities since December 31, of which 49 are confirmed cholera cases," Mahlalela said: "And 139 people have been hospitalised."
He said water tests were conducted in streams, wells and rivers in the area. This had have revealed E.coli and Vibro Cholera in the Ngwaritsi River.
"To this end, as of now, we declare all water sources except tap water unsafe for human consumption and urge people in the affected areas not to use water from streams, wells and rivers," Mahlalela said.
He said the Bushbuckridge local municipality would look into how to supply alternative clean water to residents in the affected areas.
He said affected areas were Thokpzane, Jim Brown, Cork and Mbombela North.
Recently a Zimbabwean woman living in KwaMhlanga died in hospital. Test results showed that she had contracted cholera. Her partner, who was also admitted to hospital for vomiting and diarrhoea, had tested negative and was discharged.