The department alerts the public to outbreaks of stomach flu and an increase in cholera cases

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The department alerts the public to outbreaks of stomach flu and an increase in cholera cases

As the nation faces an outbreak of the rising number of laboratory-confirmed cases of
cholera, the Department of Health would like to advise the public to exercise additional
vigilance and maintain good hand hygiene when handling stomach flu or other
gastrointestinal infections.

The department has been informed of cases of people presenting with gastrointestinal
symptoms in Hammanskraal, north of Pretoria in the past few days, this has led to over
50 people receiving medical care at Jubilee Hospital. Unfortunately, six patients have
lost their lives.

Gastrointestinal illness is a common and often highly infectious condition that affects the
stomach and intestines. The disease typically spreads by contact with an infected
person or through contaminated food or water, and individuals generally become ill 12 –
48 hours after exposure. Some of the common symptoms include diarrhoea, cramps,
nausea, vomiting and low-grade fever.

Meanwhile, the department can confirm that the cumulative number of positive cholera
cases has increased to 21, following the detection of three more cases in Gauteng, and
six cases in Vredefort and Parys areas under Free State Province.

Members of the public are urged to avoid known or suspected contaminated food, water
and surfaces, and wash hands to prevent possible infection.

The provincial and district outbreak response teams in both provinces have been
dispatched to the affected communities to further investigate the source of the
outbreaks, and intensify health education and promotion to empower the community
members with health information. The department will keep the country informed of the
developments and findings of the investigations.

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