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South Africa Records Another Imported Cholera Case



cholera case

South Africa has reported another laboratory-confirmed cholera case, as Health Minister Dr Joe Phaahla announced on Tuesday. The patient, a 24-year-old South African man, had a travel history from Karachi, Pakistan as reported by SA News.

The man arrived in South Africa on 16 July from Pakistan, a known cholera-endemic area. He experienced symptoms like abdominal cramps, vomiting, and diarrhoea after a meal two days before his arrival.

While in Pakistan, he reported having diarrhoea but did not seek immediate medical attention, assuming it was not a foodborne illness. Instead, he rehydrated using bottled water.

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Upon landing at King Shaka International Airport in Durban, the man felt dehydrated and sought medical help at a private hospital. Subsequently, he was admitted on 18 July, and his specimen was sent to the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) for testing.


The laboratory results, which came back on Monday, 24 July 2023, confirmed the presence of cholera toxin. Following appropriate treatment, he has been discharged and is now recovering at home.

The health department has been proactive in containing the situation. They initiated contact tracing and identified four family members and one friend with whom the patient stayed in Pakistan. Fortunately, none of them are currently presenting cholera symptoms and are under close monitoring.

Furthermore, water samples from the patient’s residence were collected and sent to the National Health Laboratory Service for testing.

This imported case brings the total number of recorded cholera cases to three, including two infections in individuals who travelled from Malawi earlier this year. Since February, the country has seen a cumulative total of 199 laboratory-confirmed cholera cases.

While the situation is under control regarding the recent cholera outbreak in some parts of the country, Health Minister Phaahla urges the public to remain vigilant and maintain high levels of personal hygiene to prevent the potential transmission of waterborne and foodborne diseases.


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Photo by Anna Shvets

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