Vryheid diarrhoea outbreak subsiding - KZN health dept

2019-04-04 16:34
(Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

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The KwaZulu-Natal Department of Health says the outbreak of diarrhoea that resulted in 535 people being hospitalised in Vryheid, is subsiding.

Health MEC Sibongiseni Maxwell Dhlomo visited Vryheid Hospital, where he interacted with patients and district health officials.

The department said Dhlomo was briefed about drastic improvements that had been noted, following a series of interventions.

"From the 22nd of March, there’ve been 535 admissions at Vryheid Hospital, referred mainly from Bhekuzulu Clinic and Mason Clinic," Dhlomo said.

He said the clinics were serving Bhekuzulu location, Lakeside and Vryheid town. He said the department was happy that no deaths had been recorded since the outbreak.

READ: Vryheid residents warned against drinking municipal water

"The lab results of both stools of the patients and the water samples are showing no sign of vibrio cholera, typhoid or any other known pathogens that cause severe diarrhoea," said Dhlomo.

The community has now been advised to boil water, even if it comes from the tap.

"The laboratory will continue to look for any other pathogens that might be causing this irritant diarrhoea. But since these interventions that we’ve put in place, we have been noticing a decreasing number of admissions of patients with abdominal pain, diarrhoea and vomiting," he said.

The department urged the community of Vryheid and surrounding areas not to panic, but rather adhere to the following water and food safety protocols:

  • Use only bottled water, or water that has been disinfected with 1 teaspoon or 5ml of bleach into 20–25 litres of water, mix well and wait for at least 30 minutes before consumption;
  • Then boil the water for at least a minute (let it bubble) to make it clean and safe;
  • Wash all raw food with clean, treated or boiled water;
  • Wash your hands after visiting the toilet, and before handling or eating food;
  • Wash food utensils in clean, treated or boiled water;
  • Protect food from fly contamination and prevent fly contamination at home;
  • Do not allow children to play in dirty pools, rivulets or storm water outlets;
  • Do not contaminate rivers or leave sewage where it can be washed into a river by rain.

Read more on:    durban  |  health  |  water
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