Diarrhoeal disease outbreak kills seven in Gauteng. In Hammanskraal, a town north of Tshwane, the diarrheal illness took the lives of seven people between May 15 and May 19 of 2023. The Gauteng Department of Health reports that 67 residents of the Hammanskraal communities of Kanana, Suurman, Majaneng, and Greenfield have experienced vomiting, stomach cramps, and diarrhea. 7 of them passed away.
The Health Department said in a statement that the disease 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. “Individuals generally become ill within 12 to 48 hours after exposure. Some of the common symptoms include diarrhoea, cramps, nausea, vomiting and low-grade fever” the statement said.
Following an epidemic of diarrheal illness and an increase in Cholera cases, the Department of Health has asked South Africans to exercise extreme vigilance and maintain good hand hygiene. According to the department’s spokesperson, Foster Mohale, there has also been an increase in cholera cases as a result of the discovery of four additional cases in Gauteng and seven cases in the Free State Province’s Vredefort and Parys regions.
“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,” Mohale added
He stated that Jubilee Hospital and the other affected areas had provincial and district outbreak response teams sent to further explore the disease’s origin and to spread awareness among the local population.
“Already stool specimens have been collected from some of the affected people, the results will be out soon” he added
Following the epidemic in the region, Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko, the MEC for Health and Wellness for Gauteng, will visit Jubilee District Hospital today.