Cape Times

City on high alert for disease outbreaks

- Staff Writer

CITY health officials remained on high alert for disease outbreaks among children, especially those under the age of five.

Aside from it being diarrhoea season, there is also an increase in cases in other communicab­le diseases, including pertussis, typhoid, and listeria. Safety and security; and social services Mayco member JP Smith said there had been a decline in the number of diarrhoea-related deaths, and diarrhoea with dehydratio­n in recent years.

But the drop in diarrhoea cases was followed by an increase in pneumonia in children under five.

“These diseases present a significan­t and costly challenge to the City. Not only are staff and resources under pressure, but the outbreak of any disease also puts lives and livelihood­s at risk.”

Last year, there were 26 cases of typhoid fever reported in the City. It is spread through contaminat­ed food or drink and symptoms include fever, stomach pains and sometimes a rash.

“City clinics have regular health talks about the prevention of water and food-borne diseases and diarrhoea danger signs. Health-care facilities ensure that individual­s who are sick and dehydrated (especially children) are fasttracke­d to prevent disease progressio­n.”

Listeriosi­s is the latest outbreak to hit the country, with the National Institute for Communicab­le Diseases reporting 748 cases and 67 deaths. It is spread through the consumptio­n of contaminat­ed food, the most common being vegetables, raw or unpasteuri­sed milk and soft cheeses, processed foods and smoked fish.

Five key food safety tips:

Wash your hands thoroughly.

Separate raw and cooked food.

Cook food thoroughly.

Keep food at safe temperatur­es.

Use clean water and fresh food.

 ??  ?? PREVENTION: A child gets immunised by a nurse.
PREVENTION: A child gets immunised by a nurse.

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