The health department has called on the public to be vigilant and exercise good personal hygiene habits, after the country recorded imported cholera cases attributed to two sisters who had been to Malawi.
The sisters travelled to Malawi last month, where a cholera outbreak has already claimed over 1000 lives.
Health department deputy minister, Sibongiseni Dhlomo says both patients developed symptoms on their return to Johannesburg.
Dhlomo says, “If we make sure we continue to wash our hands when we go to handle food, wash our hands with soap when coming from the bathroom or use a sanitiser, we are unlikely to get the transmission of any bacterial viruses such as cholera which spreads from one person to another. So, that is why we are requesting for vigilance and make sure we strengthen our personal hygiene in terms of these issues.”
The health department has also reiterated the importance of ensuring that children are vaccinated against measles.
The National Institute of Communicable Diseases recently recorded over 400 cases of the infectious disease, saying it has spread to a number of provinces.
The Western Cape, Gauteng, Limpopo, Free State, North West and Mpumalanga have reported cases.
A national campaign to curb the outbreak of measles is underway at clinics.
Dhlomo says, “It’s part of our protocol that we immunise children against measles and we really have to immunise quite a lot of them. We would like to be covered in this and we were even asking for boosters for children in our own communities even with a strong immunity. Yes, you may still get measles but it wont actually harm the child and maybe to the elderly too.”
The Minister of Health, Dr Joe Phaahla calls for vigilance as the country records two laboratory-confirmed cases of #cholera imported from Malawi. The cases are sisters who had travelled together from Johannesburg to Malawi to attend a funeral service https://t.co/7w7rjOkJVl
— Department of Health (@HealthZA) February 5, 2023