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Cholera: CDM urges residents to be vigilant

The Capricorn District Municipality is working closely with the provincial Department of Health to monitor the number of cases recorded in the province.

POLOKWANE – Last week, Capricorn District Municipality (CDM) urged residents to be vigilant and take precautions to curb the spread of cholera. This comes in the wake of four cases that have been confirmed in Capricorn sistrict, being three in Blouberg and one in Polokwane.

Spokesperson for the municipality, Moffat Senyatsi explained in a media release that cholera is a water-borne bacteria that usually occurs in settings with inadequate sanitation, poor hygiene and contaminated drinking water.

“The municipality continues to test and monitor its water sources to ensure that all residents are less vulnerable to infection, but the challenge lies in sanitation and hygiene. The municipality therefore urges everyone to take precautions and practise good hygiene by washing their hands with water and soap after using the bathroom or toilet, and when preparing or eating food, also thoroughly wash their fruits and vegetables,” Senyatsi said.

He urged residents and visitors to visit their nearest health facility when they suspect symptoms such as watery diarrhoea and dehydration and added that, according to the Department of Health, the infection is often mild or without symptoms, but can sometimes be severe and life-threatening.

Senyatsi assured that the municipality is working closely with the Provincial Department of Health to monitor the situation and provide regular updates.

According to the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), when left untreated, cholera can be fatal in a matter of hours, even in previously healthy people.

Most people exposed to the cholera bacterium (vibrio cholerae) don’t become ill and never know they’ve been infected. Yet because they shed cholera bacteria in their stool for seven to 14 days, they can still infect others through contaminated water.

Water contaminated with human faeces is the most important means of cholera transmission, either directly through drinking contaminated water or indirectly through eating contaminated food.

Food can become contaminated when it comes into contact with contaminated water. Vegetables that have been fertilised with human excreta or “freshened” with contaminated water also become contaminated, according to the NICD.

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