Cholera and diarrheal disease in South Africa
news desk Laugh
The Ministry of Health is urging the public to take extra precautionary measures and maintain proper hand hygiene as the country is experiencing outbreaks of diarrheal disease or gastrointestinal infection, and the increasing number of laboratory-confirmed cases of cholera.
The department has been informed of cases of people with gastrointestinal symptoms in Hamanskral, north of Pretoria in the past few days and this has resulted in more than 50 people receiving medical attention at the Jubilee Hospital. Unfortunately, six patients lost their lives.
Diarrheal disease is a common and often highly contagious condition that affects the stomach and intestines. It is a leading cause of child mortality and morbidity worldwide, spread mostly by contact with an infected person or through contaminated food and drinking water sources. Individuals generally become ill 12-48 hours after exposure. Some common symptoms include diarrhea, cramps, nausea, vomiting, and low fever.
Meanwhile, the department can also confirm that the cumulative number of positive cholera cases has risen to 22, after detecting four more cases in Gauteng, and seven cases in the Vredefort and Paris regions under the Free State Province.
Members of the public are urged to avoid known or suspected contaminated food, water and surfaces, and to wash hands thoroughly with soap before handling food or after using the bathroom to prevent possible infection. Never drink water from unsafe sources such as rivers, dams, and streams, unless it is boiled or disinfected first.