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Surge season alert – City calls for vigilance<p>Cape Town has made significant strides in reducing both the incidence of diarrhoea in children under five, but also the number of cases with severe dehydration, which can be fatal.</p><p>In 2012/13, there were 74 fatalities recorded during the period known as surge season, between November and May.</p><p>Numerous interventions have however been introduced in the past decade to address the fatality rate – during the last surge season, there were five fatalities.</p><p>'The so-called stomach bug or gastro is quite common over this time of year, among adults and children. The heat makes food spoil more easily, but warmer temperatures also aid the spread of germs. So the key for everyone is good hand hygiene at all times, but also the proper handling and management of food. The risk to children is when dehydration sets in from having gastro. The statistics show that we have made great gains over the past decades, but we cannot afford to let our guard down. One fatality is one too many, so parents and caregivers have to be incredibly vigilant, and act immediately to prevent complications,' said Mayoral Committee Member for Community Services and Health, Councillor Patricia Van der Ross.</p><p><strong>DIARRHOEA PREVENTION & MANAGEMENT</strong></p><p>Apart from regular and thorough handwashing, parents and caregivers are advised to wash bottles, bowls, spoons and teats before feeding young children.<br> <br>It is important to prepare and store food safely and to wash hands with soap and water after going to the toilet, changing the child's nappies, before preparing feeds and working with food.</p><p> </p><p>In the event that a child develops loose stools, caregivers are advised to:</p><p> </p><ul><li>Start feeding them an oral rehydration solution with one teaspoon of salt, eight teaspoons of sugar dissolved in 1 Litre of cooled water that has been boiled, or</li><li>To visit their nearest clinic immediately for assistance<br><br> </li></ul><p>Symptoms of dehydration include: passing little urine, dry mouth, few tears when crying, sunken eyes and weakness.</p><p> </p><p>Symptoms of severe dehydration are drowsiness, pale/mottled skin, cold hands or feet, dry nappies, fast and shallow breathing.</p><p> </p><p> </p><p><strong>End</strong></p><p><br></p>2023-12-05T22:00:00ZGP0|#1d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70;L0|#01d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70|City news;GTSet|#62efe227-07aa-45e7-944c-ceebacca891dGP0|#e42bd0d2-6fd6-4126-805b-437fba7d2201;L0|#0e42bd0d2-6fd6-4126-805b-437fba7d2201|Diarrhoea;GTSet|#2e3de6c1-9951-4747-8f53-470629a399bb;GP0|#c9fccbde-2168-4eb1-afd3-ec64110a8709;L0|#0c9fccbde-2168-4eb1-afd3-ec64110a8709|children;GP0|#0b858893-1ef6-46d3-9364-6c1c772e881d;L0|#00b858893-1ef6-46d3-9364-6c1c772e881d|Clinics10

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