2001- Cholera in South Africa - Update 12
16 January 2001
Disease Outbreak Reported
As of 14 January, the Kwazulu-Natal Department of Health has reported 19 499 cases and 66 deaths since the start of the outbreak in mid-August 2000.
The outbreak in Kwazulu-Natal is primarily affecting the Empangeni area, made up of the Lower Umfolozi districts and the Eshowe/Nkandla area. The lower South Coast is affected mainly in the KwaDukuza/Stanger area and Ugu Region/South Coast.
The WHO team of epidemiologists from the WHO Regional Office for Africa, working with the Department of Health has made a number of recommendations to assess control measures taken so far and to plan further activities to limit the spread of the outbreak. Intersectoral coordination will be increased and the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Water Affairs and Forestry is developing a strategy to address water and sanitation needs.
The health sector is to continue close monitoring, training and supervision through the deployment of staff from other provinces and the employment of temporary health promotion workers in affected areas. The WHO team noted the strong commitment of health personnel in the affected areas and their effective case management of patients which is reflected in the low fatality rate of less than 0.5%. Health preparedness amongst people in unaffected areas that have high potential for cholera outbreaks will be increased with enhanced mass media information campaigns, targeting schools.
No special restrictions on travel to and from KwaZulu-Natal are warranted.