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Monday, March 4, 2024

The risk of diarrheal disease is increasing

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The risk of diarrheal disease is increasing as the summer is approaching. The City of Cape Town is urging the public to be mindful that young children are particularly susceptible and that dehydration caused by diarrhoea can be fatal.


Health authorities say the city has made significant strides in reducing both the incidence of diarrhoea in children under five, but also the number of cases of severe dehydration, which can be fatal.


In 2012/13, there were 74 fatalities recorded during the period known as surge season, between November and May.


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Numerous interventions have however been introduced in the past decade to address the fatality rate – during the last surge season, there were five fatalities.


‘The so-called stomach bug or gastro is quite common over this time of year, among adults and children. The heat makes food spoil more easily, but warmer temperatures also aid the spread of germs,” says Mayoral Committee Member for Community Services and Health, Councillor Patricia Van der Ross.


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She says the key for everyone is good hand hygiene at all times, but also the proper handling and management of food.


Van der Ross added the risk to children is when dehydration sets in from having gastro. She says the statistics show that they’ve have made great gains over the past decades, but cannot afford to let their guard down.


“One fatality is one too many, so parents and caregivers have to be incredibly vigilant, and act immediately to prevent complications,’ she added.

Merentia Van Der Vent
Merentia Van Der Vent
Merentia joined the media world in 1996 and in 2001, she took her first steps in the broadcasting world. In her free time, she likes to go on adventures in the city. She also likes to learn new dances, not that she is any good at that.

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