rotavirus outcry

Chester Makana

Chester Makana

The Limpopo department of health and social development has denied reports that a number of rotavirus patients are failing to get treatment from public hospitals and clinics.

The department was reacting to claims by members of the public that rotavirus patients were unable to get treatment because public health institutions had no vaccine for the virus.

Rotavirus is the leading single cause of severe diarrhoea among infants and young children.

The department maintained there were no cases of rotavirus.

But private hospitals confirmed treating patients affected by the virus

Sources in the department said the government had promised to provide the vaccine but had not done so.

Departmental spokesperson Sophie Sekole said: "It's true we don't have the vaccine but we are able to treat the virus.

" The vaccine will be available in August and we'll give it out as as soon as it is available."

Sekole said it was not easy to detect the virus because the signs were similar to those of meningitis and cholera.

But Polokwane-based Medi Clinic said they had dealt with more than five rotavirus cases.

Spokesperson Caroline Schulze said the patients were treated and discharged and that only one case was being monitored closely.