27 November 2008

3 more cholera cases in KZN

Another three Zimbabweans with suspected cholera have been admitted to two Durban hospitals, health department officials said on Thursday.

Another three Zimbabweans with suspected cholera have been admitted to two Durban hospitals, health department officials said on Thursday.

Two brothers were admitted to RK Khan hospital and a 48-year-old woman was taken to Addington. All three had experienced symptoms including vomiting, diarrhoea, leg cramps and dehydration. A senior KwaZulu-Natal health department official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said tests were being carried out on the three to determine if they had contracted the water-borne disease.

He said it was unknown where in Durban the three lived. RK Khan spokeswoman Kamla Chetty told Sapa the two brothers were working in South Africa. "They went to Zimbabwe on November 7 and returned on November 21. They were admitted two days later."

Meanwhile, a nurse from Addington Hospital said a that a woman they were treating had also recently visited Zimbabwe. She was admitted to the hospital on Wednesday afternoon.

Gauteng, KZN, Mpumupulanga and Western Cape affected
Health Minister Barbara Hogan said in a statement this week that Zimbabwe had been experiencing an outbreak of cholera since October. It started in Harare. By mid-November it had spread to nine of the country's provinces, causing 6072 suspected cholera cases and 294 deaths.

Zimbabweans started streaming into South Africa for help and by Monday November 24, border towns in South Africa's province of Limpopo reported 187 cases of cholera and three deaths. Hogan said two truck drivers, one Zambian and the other Mozambican, were confirmed to be suffering from cholera and had been treated at the Charlotte Maxeke Hospital (formerly the Johannesburg Hospital) and Addington Hospital in Durban.

Both succumbed to the illness and died. Hogan said that apart from Limpopo, other affected provinces in South Africa were Gauteng, with nine cholera cases and six suspected cases, KwaZulu-Natal with one confirmed case, Mpumalanga with one suspected case and Western Cape with one suspected case. She said her department had sent the National Outbreak Response Team and the Provincial Outbreak Response Team to Musina. A Joint Operations Committee was also set up and working subcommittees were formed on the same day in Musina.

A report in Thursday's Zimbabwe Herald newspaper, quoting the latest report from the UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs, indicated that so far 366 people had died of cholera in Zimbabwe, 108 of them in Harare.

Zim police beating nurses, docs
Meanwhile, Zimbabwean riot police have reportedly been beating striking doctors and nurses at a Harare hospital on Tuesday and sent them running for cover in wards, witnesses said, as reports emerged of dozens more dead in a fast-spreading cholera outbreak.

The protesters carried placards saying: "We want drugs in our hospital" and "enough is enough!" Parirenyatwa, the country's largest hospital, and Harare General are both effectively closed because of a long-lasting strike over pay and conditions by staff. – (Sapa, November 2008)

Read more:
SA at low risk of Zim's cholera
Zim docs protest health system


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