health immigrants

Health Minister, Dr Joe Phaahla. Image via Twitter/@GCIS

Government now monitoring the Cholera outbreak

On Thursday the Minister of Health, Dr Joe Phaahla confirmed the first death linked to cholera in South Africa.

health immigrants

Health Minister, Dr Joe Phaahla. Image via Twitter/@GCIS

Health Minister Joe Phaahla says that government is on high alert for an outbreak of any new cholera cases.

ALSO READ: Health Minister announces first cholera death


On Thursday the Department of Health confirmed the first death linked to cholera. Earlier this month, two sisters from Diepsloot, who had travelled to Johannesburg from Malawi tested positive for Cholera. 

When addressing the media on Sunday, Phaahla said the number of imported cases remains at one. 

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“We haven’t had any cases reported from rural areas where people use untreated water from wells and rivers,” said Phaahla. 

Meanwhile, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga said there isn’t any indication that the water system had been contaminated. She added that there is no indication of any contamination of public water resources with the bacteria.

“What is important is for our environmental health officers and health promotion teams to monitor close contacts and keep them at high alert and also education for health hygiene, especially when handling drinking water and food.” 

ALSO READ: Health Department  on high alert as cholera cases emerge in SA


The patients are two sisters who recently travelled to Malawi from Johannesburg before returning by bus on 30 January. Both patients developed cholera symptoms upon their return, as previously reported.

One of the patients went to a local clinic before being admitted to the hospital. Later, during the case investigation, the patient’s sister revealed she also developed diarrhoea while travelling back to South Africa from Malawi, but it resolved within a day, and she did not seek further medical treatment.

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A member of the sisters’ household was also admitted to the hospital on Saturday, 4 February, due to diarrhoea and dehydration. This individual is considered a possible cholera case, and laboratory test results are pending while close contact tracing is underway.

“Cholera is an acute enteric infection caused by the bacteria Vibrio cholerae, and the outbreaks usually occur in settings with inadequate sanitation and insufficient access to safe drinking water. Cholera typically causes acute watery diarrhoea and can affect people of all ages.”