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02 Nov 2007 15:22
One hundred and fifty people were treated for diarrhoea in the Nkangala area in Delmas since the outbreak last week, Mpumalanga provincial minister of health and social services Sipho Lubisi said on Friday.
“A hundred and fifty cases have been reported to outpatient facilities for treatment. At this point in time, no deaths linked to diarrhoea have been reported.”
Addressing journalists, Lubisi said that since the outbreak of diarrhoea was noted, various laboratory tests had been carried out to identify the presence of any bacteria that might be responsible for the stomach disorder.
The area was hit by a typhoid outbreak in September 2005 and four people died as a result.
However, the provincial minister said the current situation could not be linked to the previous one.
“The current situation has not revealed any evidence that links it to the typhoid outbreak in 2005.”
He said, however, that if such evidence was obtained through various tests currently under way, the public would be informed.
Lubisi visited two clinics in the area and he said the situation was “under control”.
Residents had different views on the matter—some feared for their lives, while others believed the situation was under control.
Sibongile Ntuli said the outbreak hit the area three weeks ago but it wasn’t initially “serious”.
“We only realised it was serious last week when most people became sick.
Three of my family members are suffering from it and this morning I heard that four people from the same street had the same problem.”
Ntuli said she believed that the water was infected and as a result her family no longer drank tap water.
“Officials said they tested the water and there was nothing wrong with it, but we don’t believe them.
Another resident, Ntombi Hlumbane, who was taking her son and niece to a clinic for diarrhoea treatment, said the situation was under control.
“I’m not scared because it’s not the first time this happened in this area. As long as people get treated they will be fine,” she said.—Sapa
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