South Africa records first cholera death in over a decade

3D illustration of cholera pathogens in dark polluted water.

South Africa last suffered an outbreak of the waterborne disease between 2008 and 2009, when around 12,000 cases were recorded after a huge outbreak in neighbouring Zimbabwe.

This time the disease spread from Malawi where at least 1,400 people have died out of nearly 45,000 cases reported since March 2022, according to the United Nations.

Other southern African countries including Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe recently recorded cases.

World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters two weeks ago that there were 23 countries experiencing cholera outbreaks, with a further 20 nations that share land borders with them at risk.

Cholera, which causes diarrhoea and vomiting, is contracted from a bacterium that is generally transmitted through contaminated food or water.