Cholera epidemic spreads as 80 new cases reported

Frank Maponya

Frank Maponya

Eighty new cholera cases have emerged in Limpopo as the disease continues to spread like wild fire in the province.

But the official death toll remained unchanged at 20 yesterday.

Provincial spokesman for the department of health and social development, Phuti Seloba, said new cases of infections were increasing and putting the lives of ordinary people in danger.

The latest developments bring to 3680 the total number of cases that had been dealt with since the outbreak of the disease on November 15 last year.

Seloba said the Vhembe district had 16 new cases, Capricorn 37, Sekhukhune nine, Mopani two and Waterberg 16.

"The disease is really spreading at a fast pace and this is cause for concern," Seloba said yesterday.

"A worrying factor is that if people do not take the necessary precautions to avoid contracting the disease, we might not guarantee their safety," he added.

According to Seloba, the department was providing bleach and soap to most of the villages affected or likely to be affected by the epidemic in order to prevent further loss of life.

The disease was first believed to have been brought about as a result of the high influx of Zimbabweans who crossed into South Africa to seek treatment. This was after they were found to have been exposed to contaminated sewerage water in their country, resulting in the outbreak. But now the majority of those contracting the disease or dying from it are South African citizens.