Rash - water-related or outbreak?

2016-10-20 06:00
A patient at Gama-lakhe Community Health Centre with the rash.      PHOTO:   precious     gumede

A patient at Gama-lakhe Community Health Centre with the rash. PHOTO: precious gumede

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MANY people are complaining about an itchy rash which is suspected to be related to the recent water issues the South Coast has been experiencing.

People say the rash started just after the South Coast experienced a high salt content in its water during the drought.

The rash starts with a small itchy bump, then later spreads all over the body. Residents say going to the clinic does not help as the only treatment that is given are allergy creams or Calamine lotion.

The reason why many suspect that the rash is water related is because people from different areas complain about the same thing, not just in one neighbourhood.

Thabsile Ngcobo of Department of Health said no reports of an outbreak have been circulated by the department. However, an email has been sent to local clinics to get confirmation about the number of walk-in patients who complain about the rash.

“At the moment we do not have official reports of an outbreak, however, the department will follow up," said Ngcobo.

Ugu District Municipality was contacted for comment on allegations that the rash could be caused by the water.

Ugu spokesperson France Zama said it is the municipality’s view that water is life and as a caring water services authority, Ugu continues to provide communities with safe water that is in compliant with the South African National Drinking Standards (SANS 241).

“The areas where the complaints come from are supplied by different sources. The Gamalakhe area is supplied from the Boboyi Plant, Mthwalume is supplied from Mthwalume Plant while St Faiths is supplied from the Mhlabatshane Plant. It is therefore highly unlikely that the alleged rash is as a result of our water.”

Zama said the municipality undergoes a water testing process by an independent body that monitors the quality of Ugu water daily. There has not been any health hazards reported from their sources of supply.

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