Emergencies preparedness, response

2000 - Cholera in South Africa- Update 9

19 December 2000

Disease Outbreak Reported

As of 18 December, the Kwazulu-Natal Department of Health has reported 8137 cases and 41 deaths since the start of the outbreak in mid-August 2000. 

Cholera cases and deaths are only reported once laboratory testing has taken place and cholera is confirmed. The cumulative figure of cases reflects the number of people who have contracted the disease, sought and received treatment in hospital, recovered and been discharged from hospital over a 4 and 1/2 month period. The recent heavy rainfall in the affected areas could have influenced the increased number of cases.

The outbreak in Kwazulu-Natal is affecting: the Empangeni area, made up of the Lower Umfolozi districts, which include Hlabisa and Ngwelezane and the Eshowe/Nkandla area. The lower South Coast is affected mainly in the KwaDukuza/Stanger area and Ugu Region/South Coast.

All piped and municipal water in Kwazulu-Natal is safe. Only people using water directly from rivers and dams are at risk and if good sanitation and personal hygiene measures are followed, the chances of contracting cholera are minimal.

No special restrictions on travel to and from KwaZulu-Natal are warranted.