Health officials dispatched to Mossel Bay after meningitis outbreak

2016-01-28 11:02


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cape Town - The Western Cape Department of Health has urged Mossel Bay residents not to panic after a reported outbreak of viral meningitis in the Garden Route town.

Meningitis is an inflammation of the meninges, the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord, and is caused by either a bacterial or viral infection.

- Health24: Meningitis

Department spokesperson Marika Champion told News24 on Thursday that the disease is contained to the Mossel Bay area and is being monitored daily.

"I can confirm that a number of cases have been reported, but we can't give the number of cases as they are not all reported at our healthcare facilities."

Eyewitness News reported that at least nine children and an adult are believed to have contracted the disease.

The cases were reported between December 1 and January 24. All have been treated successfully and no deaths have been reported.

"It's viral meningitis, not the lethal meningitis, the majority of cases are not even hospitalised. There is no cause for panic at the moment," Champion said.

According to Health24, bacterial meningitis is a life-threatening condition while viral meningitis, which is more common, is generally less serious.

A local response team was activated to monitor and contain the spread of the disease. Patients and their close contacts are screened and monitored daily.


The Western Cape Department of Health says symptoms can be varied, overlapping with various other illnesses. The common signs and symptoms to look out for are:

- Fever, headache, stiff neck, tiredness, sensitivity to light

- Rash, sore throat and vomiting can also occur

- Consult a doctor, clinic, or hospital immediately if a person shows any of the below mentioned danger signs:

- loss of consciousness,

- fits (seizures),

- muscle weakness, or

- a rash consisting of dark, red discolorations all over the body.

How can you prevent getting infected?

Hand hygiene (regular hand washing with soap and water) and good personal hygiene helps to prevent infection with many viruses including enteroviruses. The virus is spread through contact with contaminated stool.

Wash hands with soap and water after using the toilet, before preparing food, and after sneezing and coughing.

Adults should teach and encourage children to wash their hands properly, and emphasise regular handwashing when children are at school and in contact with other children.

Read more on:    george  |  cape town  |  health

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Competition regulation for a growing and inclusive economy

ADVERTORIAL: The Competition Commission of South Africa is conducting advocacy work in the South African automotive aftermarket industry and has gazetted a Draft Code of Conduct for public comment.

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.