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Limpopo plays down cholera case

A man washes his hands under a tap after a cholera outbreak in the Western Cape. /
A man washes his hands under a tap after a cholera outbreak in the Western Cape. /
Image: Neil Baynes

Health officials in Limpopo are on high alert after a cholera case was confirmed in the Blouberg area this week.

Yesterday, spokesperson for the provincial health department Niel Shikwambana said they had dispatched a District Outbreak Response Team to investigate the scare. He said a migrant farmworker who lives in Alldays was diagnosed with cholera after visiting a local clinic.

"He is believed to have visited Alldays clinic with acute watery diarrhoea and vomiting and was then transferred to Helen Franz hospital for further management. Upon performing laboratory checks on the specimen taken from the patient, a case of cholera was confirmed."

Shikwambana said there was no outbreak of the infection in SA but that people should practise good hygiene and ensure drinking water is clean. People have also been urged to wash fruit and vegetables before eating them and ensuring that food is thoroughly cooked.

"We want people to remain on high alert but we don't think it's something that people should panic about. They should make it their habit to practise good hygiene even if there is no cholera."

Shikwambana said the response team included environmental practitioners who would test the water sources in the area and health officials who would conduct home visits to the patient's family.

He said the patient was recovering well and receiving treatment in hospital. Shikwambana also urged people to seek urgent medical attention should they experience diarrhoea or vomiting.

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases has also released an alert to health workers, advising them on how to identify and treat possible cholera patients.

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