×

We've got news for you.

Register on SowetanLIVE at no cost to receive newsletters, read exclusive articles & more.
Register now

River baptism suspected to be cause of the latest cholera cases

Four new cases of cholera have been confirmed in Gauteng and all the patients had been recently baptised in the Jukskei or Klip rivers

Rescue workers navigate the Jukskei River in search of victims who drowned during a baptism in 2022. The river is now suspected of being the cause of some new cholera infections.
Rescue workers navigate the Jukskei River in search of victims who drowned during a baptism in 2022. The river is now suspected of being the cause of some new cholera infections.
Image: Phathu Luvhengo/TimesLIVE

Two rivers used extensively for baptisms are the suspected cause of the latest cholera cases as four new infections were confirmed in Gauteng.

The victims include a 10-year-old girl from Katlehong in Ekurhuleni, who was taken to Mpilweni Private Hospital on March 19 with diarrhoea, nausea and vomiting. Her results confirmed her positive status and she was the ninth confirmed case, said national health department spokesperson Foster Mohale.

The department discovered that the girl and her mother were baptised a week earlier with other church members in the Klip River.

“It was established during the investigation that her mother was admitted at Thelle Mogoerane Hospital on March 17 and was treated for different health conditions. She unfortunately passed away the following day,” Mohale said.

The seventh and eighth cases are a couple from Diepsloot who were baptised in the Jukskei River with six other people on March 18. A few days later, the wife, aged 38, and her husband, 49, experienced health complications, said Mohale.

They were admitted to Helen Joseph Hospital last Tuesday with acute watery diarrhoea and severe dehydration.

The tenth case was detected in a pastor who baptised the Diepsloot couple at the river. She said she also drank water from the river.

“She was detected by the health response team during contact tracing and field investigation, having diarrhoea and vomiting. Though she was not admitted her stool was taken for laboratory testing and the results came back positive,” Mohale said.

The confirmed cholera cases have now increased to 10,  with water from the Jukskei and Klip rivers being the suspected source for the recent cases.

All four patients have no recent international travel history, which suggests the transmission took place locally.

“All four patients are recovering at home and are in stable condition.”

The first two cases were detected in two sisters who had travelled to Johannesburg from Malawi. They were found to have been in contact with eight other people.

TimesLIVE


Would you like to comment on this article?
Register (it's quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.