False report causes confusion in Lenasia

2015-01-15 18:35


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Cape Town – A false report doing its rounds on social media and via e-mails has caused panic in Lenasia after residents opened their taps to foul smelling water on Thursday.

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A local radio station said the report, ostensibly from News24, had caused a lot of confusion among residents.

News24 can confirm that the report is false and did not stem from our news site.

According to the report taps around Lenasia have been red flagged after alleged tests found bacteria linked to the Ebola virus in the water.

The reports states: “According to reports by residence in the Johannesburg South (Lenasia) was that the tap water had a funny taste and smell to it, tests have been carried out at the water station in Ennerdale and reports found a bacteria which is linked to the Ebola virus, there has been a red flag on the tap water in Lenasia and residence should not drink or touch the water until further tests are made. [sic]”

Faizel Patel a journalist at Radio Islam told News24 he received numerous calls about funny smelling water from Johannesburg south residents.

Patel said he called local councillor Zarina Motala, who said she was aware of the issue and said that samples of the water had been sent for testing.

Motala also advised people at the time that they should purify the water before drinking it.

Patel said a few hours later he read a social media post claiming that News24 published an article about an Ebola-linked bacteria in the water.

He was not sure where the rumour had started, but it was spreading on social media networks, via e-mails and by word of mouth.

He made a call to his Lenasia listeners to ignore the rumour.

Gauteng heath spokesperson Prince Hamnca told News24 that officials were looking in to the water issue in Lenasia, adding that Ebola could not be contracted through water.

According to the World Health Organisation, Ebola can only be contracted through human-to-human transmission via direct contact, from infected animals or due to close contact with an Ebola patient.

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  water  |  ebola  |  media

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