Diarrhoea outbreak shock

Alfred Moselakgomo

Alfred Moselakgomo

A total of 469 people have been treated for diarrhoea in Delmas, Mpumalanga, since the disease broke out last week.

Mpho Gabashane, provincial health department spokesman, said the majority of treated patients were younger than five years old.

"But samples taken last week did not link drinking water to the disease," he said.

According to Health24, a consumer healthsite, diarrhoea is an abnormal increase in the frequency and liquidity of stools.

"The amount of water in stools each day is generally not more than 200ml for an adult. When it is above this amount, it is called diarrhoea," reads Health24.

"Diarrhoea is not itself a disease, but can be a symptom of several underlying diseases," the site states, adding that severe diarrhoea could lead to dehydration.

The site says there are many causes of diarrhoea, including food poisoning, infection, malabsorption and inflammation of the gut.

"Diarrhoea is often caused by viral stomach flu or food poisoning," states the site.

No death has, however, been reported in Delmas since the outbreak of the disease.