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Back To Vidyya Fourth South African Province Reports Cholera Case

Health Experts Blame The Outbreak On Lack Of Access To Clean Water And Proper Sanitation

As World Health Organization experts prepared Friday to help South Africa combat a cholera epidemic, local health officials reported a case of the disease in a fourth province.

Officials fear the disease could spread from the stricken Kwa-Zulu Natal Province through South Africa as migrant workers return to work in other parts of the country after the holiday season.

The outbreak in Kwa-Zulu Natal killed another person Friday, bringing the death toll since the epidemic began in August to 58. A total of 14,512 cases have been reported in the province.

Cornelius Monama, health spokesman for the North West Province, confirmed a man returning from Swaziland was admitted to a hospital outside Klerksdorp with cholera.

Swaziland has also suffered a cholera outbreak that has killed six people. That outbreak is believed to have stemmed from the KwaZulu-Natal epidemic.

Earlier in the week, cholera was detected in the South African provinces of Mpumalanga and Gauteng, which includes the city of Johannesburg.

The WHO announced Friday it had sent two infectious disease specialists to South Africa to provide expertise in fighting the disease. The specialists were scheduled to arrive Saturday.

Health experts blame the outbreak on millions of South Africans' lack of access to clean water and proper sanitation.

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Editor: Susan K. Boyer, RN
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