was the likely cause of a diarrhoea
outbreak in Limpopo earlier this week where 42 people were hospitalised, a
SAPA correspondent reported.
The outbreak was reported by the provincial diseases outbreak
response team, which believed the initial cause was contaminated
food or water at Mokopane Lodge.
"We took water and food samples immediately after the outbreak and
preliminary results on the food samples have identified salmonella food
poisoning," response team member Macks Lesufi said.
Signs of improvement
"We are yet to get results on the water samples, but so far we
have put the whole lodge under quarantine
until further notice."
Lesufi did not provide a copy of the preliminary results, as it was state
"We will only release the final results to the public maybe after
Thursday," he said.
Lesufi said that of the 42 cases that were reported and treated at
Voortrekker Hospital, nine were critical while others were discharged
"Now, of the nine, only five people are currently in hospital and they
have shown signs of improvement. We hope they will be discharged any day from
now," he said.
Risk of salmonella
People normally contract salmonella from poultry, pork and beef, if the meat
was prepared incorrectly or was infected with bacteria after preparation.
"We would like to warn our people to properly sterilise their utensils
and make sure that their food is properly refrigerated to maintain its
quality," Lesufi said.
"Otherwise, they run the risk of salmonella."
According to the World Health Organisation, salmonellosis is an infection
with salmonella bacteria.
Those infected with it develop diarrhoea, fever and abdominal
cramps for between 12 and 72 hours after infection.
"In most cases, the illness lasts four to seven days, and most people
recover without treatment. In some cases, though, the diarrhoea may be so
severe that the patient becomes dangerously dehydrated
and must be hospitalised," the WHO website states.
"At the hospital, the patient may receive intravenous fluids to treat
the dehydration and may be given medication to provide symptomatic relief, such
as fever reduction."
The WHO said in severe cases the salmonella infection may spread from the
intestines to the blood stream, before infecting other organs.
"This is known as typhoid
fever and can cause death unless the person is treated promptly with
antibiotics. The elderly, infants, and those with impaired immune systems are
more likely to develop severe illness."
outbreaks on the rise
build-up hard to eliminate
(Picture: Salmonella bacteria from Shutterstock)