Diarrhoea kills five in Western Cape since November

2017-01-25 21:12
River. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

River. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Cape Town - Five children have died of diarrhoea in the Western Cape since the “seasonal” outbreaks began in November, the provincial government said on Wednesday.

This was a drop in fatalities, but still a “bitter pill to swallow”, safety and security mayoral committee member JP Smith said.

Four children died of the preventable illness in the Khayelitsha, Klipfontein, Southern and Northern health districts in December. One child died in the Tygerberg district in January.

Smith said children who contracted diarrhoea had to be taken to their local clinic immediately.

“It’s better to be safe than sorry,” said Smith.

Children who die do so as a result of dehydration. Signs to look out for include:

- passing little urine;

- a dry mouth, dry tongue and lips;

- fewer tears when crying;

-  sunken eyes, weakness, and being irritable or lethargic;

-  drowsiness, pale or mottled skin, cold hands or feet; and

-  very few wet nappies and fast, shallow breathing.

According to the city's statistics, there were 8204 cases for the period 2015 to 2016. Since November, 5866 cases have been recorded.

Read more on:    cape town  |  health
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