The City of Ekurhuleni is on high alert following the deaths of two people in the Emandleni informal settlement of Cholera recently.

The first victim passed on the 8th of February and her 22-year-old son, who had been admitted to the O.R. Tambo Hospital, died 11 days later. A third case was confirmed Monday morning, 27 February.

“We have moved swiftly to launch an investigation to determine the origins of the disease and to trace any other incidents, while at the same time embarking on a roadshow to educate people about Cholera in general,” says city spokesman Zweli Dlamini.

“It makes sense that we are on high alert because we do not want to see the spread of this disease which can claim lives rapidly if left unchecked. We have sourced water samples from the river the victims visited before being diagnosed to determine if the river was not the source of the infections.”

Cholera is an acute diarrheal illness caused by infection of the intestine with cabrio cholera bacteria. It is spread by eating food or drinking water contaminated by the faeces (poop) of an infected person.

The community is urged to immediately consult the nearest healthcare facility if they experience the following symptoms:

  • Profuse watery diarrhea;
  • Vomiting;
  • Thirst;
  • Leg cramps; and
  • Restlessness or irritability

Cholera can be prevented by exercising the following precautions:

  • When cooking or drinking, washing your fruits and vegetables, use safe water from the municipal tap or bottled water;
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water especially after using the toilet and before touching food;
  • Where no safe water is not accessible, use alcohol based hand sanitiser;
  • Use the toilet and not defecate in the open; and
  • Clean up surfaces with safe water.

Dlamini explains that the educational campaign that started in Emandleni will spread to other areas now that cases have been identified.

In the meantime, the City would like to make it clear that the drinking water from the tap is healthy and safe to drink.