Six dead in Gauteng as Department of Health warns of Diarrhoeal disease outbreak, rising cholera cases
Six people died after presenting with gastrointestinal symptoms.
PHOTO: Felix Dlangamandla, Gallo Images, Media24
- Six people have died after presenting with gastrointestinal symptoms in Hammanskraal in the past few days.
- The health department said the country is experiencing an outbreak of Diarrhoeal disease and a rise in confirmed cases of cholera.
- People are urged to urged not to drink water from unsafe sources such as rivers, dams, or streams unless boiled or disinfected first.
The Department of Health urges the public to take extra precautionary measures and maintain proper hand hygiene as the country experiences an outbreak of Diarrhoeal disease and a rising number of laboratory-confirmed cases of cholera.
In a statement on Saturday, the department said six patients died after presenting with gastrointestinal symptoms in Hammanskraal, north of Pretoria, in the past few days.
This has led to more than 50 people receiving medical care at Jubilee Hospital.
“Diarrhoeal disease is a common and often highly infectious condition that affects the stomach and intestines. It is a leading cause of child mortality and morbidity in the world and mostly spreads by contact with an infected person or through contaminated food and drinking water sources,” the department said.
According to health department spokesperson, Foster Mohale, people generally become ill 12 to 48 hours after exposure.
“Some common symptoms include diarrhoea, cramps, nausea, vomiting and low-grade fever.”
READ | Is a bigger cholera outbreak coming for Gauteng’s townships?
Meanwhile, the department confirmed that the cumulative number of positive cholera cases has increased to 22 following the detection of four more cases in Gauteng, and seven cases in the Vredefort and Parys areas in the Free State.
“Members of the public are urged to avoid known or suspected contaminated food, water and surfaces, and wash hands thoroughly with soap before handling food or after using the bathroom to prevent possible infection,” it said.
People should not drink water from unsafe sources such as rivers, dams, or streams unless boiled or disinfected first.
Provincial and district outbreak response teams in both provinces were dispatched to the affected communities to further investigate the source of the outbreaks and intensify health education and promotion to empower the community members with health information.
The department said it will keep the public informed of the developments and findings of the investigations.