Diarrhoea gives Cape Town the runs

2013-01-14 12:02
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Cape Town - At least two children had died and thousands have been treated for gastric-related complications across Cape Town in the last two months, it was reported on Monday.

The Cape Argus reported that over 2 500 children were treated at local clinics for moderate to severe dehydration due to diarrhoea, with 300 admitted during November and December.

In this period, two children under the age of 5 died at Tygerberg Hospital, provincial health department spokesperson Faiza Steyn said.

The regular diarrhoea season is expected to peak in February and March.

Diarrhoea is more prevalent in summer because heat encourages bacteria to breed. Informal settlement residents are particularly at risk because of poor sanitation.

Sandile Bontsa, the spokesperson for health mayoral committee member Lungiswa James, said the number of diarrhoea cases in children this season was slightly up on last year's figures.

The number of associated serious dehydration cases, however, had been halved.

According to the report, it could cost up to R14 000 to treat a person for gastroenteritis (inflammation of the stomach and intestines) in a hospital, depending on the severity and the level of care given.

- SAPA
Read more on:    cape town  |  health
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