12 children die from gastro in Cape this summer

2016-03-02 12:57


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Cape Town - Twelve children have died and thousands have been treated for gastroenteritis this summer in the Western Cape, a report said on Wednesday.

The provincial Department of Health has recorded three deaths since December, while the City of Cape Town has recorded nine in the same time frame, The Cape Argus reported.

A further 25 569 children have been treated for diarrhoea in the province since the start of the summer season, with over 3 000 hospitalised.

According to Health24, "gastroenteritis" is the inflammation of the stomach and intestines.

General treatment of acute diarrhoea includes rest, encouragement of fluid intake, and taking of oral opiate-containing agents, while intravenous fluid and electrolyte replacement may be necessary in infants and elderly people.

In January, three cases of typhoid fever were also reported in the Western Cape, News24 reported.

Two of the patients were children, both girls aged 9 and 10, in the Cape Town area, while the third patient was a 52-year-old man from the Cape Winelands.

Some of them had travelled to affected areas including Zimbabwe.

Typhoid fever is a severe illness caused by the bacterium Salmonella typhi, according to Health24.

Like gastroenteritis, typical symptoms are fever, headache, abdominal pain, rash, diarrhoea and an enlarged spleen.

Summer is informally known as diarrhoea season in the medical fraternity.

Read more on:    cape town  |  health  |  medicine

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