The death toll from an outbreak of cholera in Mozambique's central Manica province has risen to 45, a top health official said on Wednesday.

Provincial health director Quinhas Fernandes told Reuters bodies had been found in remote areas to which some people suffering from the disease had moved after it broke out last week.

"We have 45 people dead now since Friday, that is 24 children and 21 adults, and we still suspect that many more people have died outside health posts and in more remote places," he said.

"We are still searching for more bodies in the communities where new infections are being reported."

A government team investigating the outbreak said it was caused by people drinking untreated water taken directly from the Zambezi and Luenha rivers, and from a nearby lake.

Manica is one of four provinces in the Zambezi valley, which was devastated by severe flooding earlier this year.