Cape Town – An outbreak of Diarrhoeal disease has resulted in six deaths at Jubilee Hospital in Gauteng.
The Gauteng Health Department confirmed the deaths on Saturday and said that over 50 people with the disease or gastrointestinal infection have been treated in Hammanskraal since Monday.
The disease is highly infectious and affects the stomach and intestines, spreading through direct contact with affected individuals, contaminated food, and water.
“Diarrhoeal disease is a common and often highly infectious condition that affects the stomach and intestines. It is a leading cause of child mortality and morbidity in the world and mostly spreads by contact with an infected person or through contaminated food and drinking water sources,” the department said.
MEDIA STATEMENT || GAUTENG HEALTH CONFIRMS AN OUTBREAK DIARRHOEAL DISEASE IN PARTS OF HAMMANSKRAAL pic.twitter.com/5M3XjyJVxQ
— Gauteng Health (@GautengHealth) May 20, 2023
Outbreak response teams have been deployed to investigate the source of the infection, the department said.
The department has emphasised the importance of proper hand hygiene to prevent the spread of the disease.
“Members of the public are urged to avoid known or suspected contaminated food, water and surfaces, and wash hands thoroughly with soap before handling food or after using the bathroom to prevent possible infection,” it said.
While healthy individuals typically recover without complications, the infection can be fatal for infants, older adults, and people with weakened immune systems.
Additionally, the province has reported 15 confirmed cases of cholera, resulting in one death.
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Compiled by Betha Madhomu