Another 134 cases of diarrhoea reported

Mfundekelwa Mkhulisi

Mfundekelwa Mkhulisi

The Mpumalanga health department is still baffled by the cause of the outbreak of diarrhoea in the Standerton area.

The number of reported cases has risen from 134 to 1727 and more than 60 people have been hospitalised.

According to spokesman Mpho Gabashane, the cause of the recent outbreak was not known and water samples were taken to laboratories for testing.

"About 61 people have been hospitalised while others were treated and discharged," he said.

Gabashane said most of the people affected were women.

In October more than 650 people were treated for diarrhoea and six children were monitored for high fever in Delmas, Mpumalanga.

Fezile Dube, 10, of Sakhile township, spent six days at Standerton Hospital.

"He was vomiting and complained of stomach pains," said his mother Sentoeli Dube.

"I took him to the doctor and he felt better afterwards. A week later he fell sick again," she said.

Dube said she took him back to the doctor last Thursday and he was referred back to Standerton Hospital.

In 2005, Delmas had a typhoid outbreak that was caused by human waste in one of its boreholes.

Dube said doctors at the hospital told them they should not drink tap water because it was conta- minated.

"We have to boil it first before we drink it or buy bottled water," Dube said.

She had to take leave from work to be with her son in hospital.

"It was a painful experience and I was crying all the time. Fezile was discharged from hospital on Wednesday," the relieved mother said.

Fezile said: "I am happy to be back home. Now I can play with my friends."

The outbreak started in the week between December 6 and 14, and 48 people were hospitalised.