The Limpopo River has tested positive for cholera, a provincial health department spokesman told Jacaranda FM on Tuesday.
The tests were run on Monday, departmental spokesman Phuti Seloba told the radio station. It was not yet known the river had been contaminated.
However, Musina residents were expressing concerns about possible contamination nearly two weeks ago as sewage seeped into the river from Beitbridge, Talk Radio 702 reported at the time.
On Tuesday, the North West's health department was placed on alert for a cholera outbreak, said spokeswoman Nthabiseng Makhongoana. She said that to date all cholera cases reported in South Africa had been linked to the Zimbabwe outbreak.
"However, there are communities in South Africa including the North West province that are still vulnerable to the introduction of cholera."
12% Musina victims are South Africans
Six people have died in South Africa since the start of the cholera outbreak, two of them South Africans and four Zimbabweans. The Limpopo health department had treated 438 cases, 150 of them women and 42 children under the age of five, reported Jacaranda FM.
Of the infected people being treated in Musina, 87% were Zimbabweans and 12% South Africans. Thousands of Zimbabweans have fallen victim to the water-borne disease, which has so far claimed hundreds of lives there.
The United Nations has warned that apart from South Africa cholera is also spreading to another of Zimbabwe's neighbours, Botswana. – (Sapa, December 2008)
SA at low risk of Zim's cholera
Cholera claims 2 760