Cholera outbreak in Hammanskraal possibly linked to police training college: Minister

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The current Cholera outbreak in Hammanskraal could be linked to the police training college in the area after the first reported case was recorded at the college.

Health Minister, Dr Joe Phaahla, says a police officer who enrolled for a three-week course arrived at college on the 7th of May.

He was rushed to hospital four days later after complaining of diarrhoea and vomiting.

He was confirmed cholera positive on May 15 and remains in ICU in a stable condition.

Further investigations showed more students were complaining of gastro-intestinal symptoms with a total of 33 seen at various health facilities, resulting in eight admissions.

Dr Phaahla says while the officer is not the source, more investigations are needed after water sources in Hammanskraal were cleared of any cholera.

“The fact that also the gentleman arrived on the 7th and started feeling ill five days later, in terms of incubation, it can be up to seven days incubation. It is possible the gentleman might have come from Musina carrying it and started showing it five days later. It is also possible that he may have come with no vibrio cholera and got it in Hammanskraal five days later. I’m just saying these are the signals that medical people, especially our field epidemiologists and specialists have to dig deeper into looking at.”

Under control – for now 

The Health Department says the cholera outbreak seems to be under control for now, after strong interventions.

Phaahla together with officials from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) provided an update on the country’s outbreak, which started in February.

The death toll remains at 24, with 23 cases in Hammanskraal and one in the Free State.

VIDEO | Health Department says cholera outbreak seems to be under control for now: