Emergencies preparedness, response

2001 - Cholera in South Africa - Update 13

26 January 2001

Disease Outbreak Reported

As of 25 January, the Kwazulu-Natal Department of Health has reported 27 431 cases and 74 deaths since the start of the outbreak in mid-August 2000.

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

Cholera is endemic to the eastern seaboard of southern Africa and outbreaks can occur sporadically in any part of the world where water supplies, sanitation, food safety and hygiene practices are inadequate.

An overall management strategy is being implemented to include treatment of patients, provision of clean water and sanitation as well as education and information about how to live in a cholera area.  The Department of Health will also work with the Department of Education to bring this information into schools. 

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