Gauteng Health mitigates any potential water borne disease outbreaks in Alex

Outbreak response team on high alert around Juskei River

In a bid to mitigate any potential water borne disease outbreaks, the Gauteng MEC for Health Ms Qedani Mahlangu, have dispatched an outbreak response team in the surrounding areas of Juskei River following the recent flash flooding and the subsequent bursting of the river banks.

The Juskei River is one of the longest rivers in Gauteng and like most major rivers in South Africa it flows through several industrialised and semi-rural areas hence it is always heavily contaminated. Some of the impoverished residents of the Alexandria townships with shacks along the river banks sometimes access water from this river for domestic purposes.

Although no cases have been reported yet, the outbreak team is currently educating people about E. Coli infections which lie squarely on both domestic and environmental sanitations in order to alleviate any possible disease outbreak resulting from this bacterial contamination. Residents around the area are urged to wash hands with soap and water before eating and after visiting the bathroom as well as washing of fruits and vegetable before their consumption.

Furthermore residents are requested to avoid defecation in the open veld as these human wastes are swept into the river by the rain, illegal dumping of any type of wastes into lakes and rivers and drinking of any water with unknown origin or otherwise this water must be boiled before consumption.

The Gauteng Department of Health Outbreak Response Teams is on high alert. Health promotion and social mobilization activities around E. coli and other water borne diseases such as Typhoid and cholera are ongoing in the surrounding areas.

Health Facilities in and around catchment areas of the Juskei River are also on high alert against all types of diarrheal diseases.

Source:Government of South Africa.