Gauteng put on polio alert
Nov 11, 2010
Gauteng public and private health sector workers have been put on high alert following the outbreak of polio (Acute Poliomyelitis) in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the provincial health department said.
The department was worried about the spread of the disease as people from the DRC entered South Africa.
“People with the following signs and symptoms of polio: fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, weakness and loss of function of limbs and muscle pain are encouraged to immediately seek medical attention at their local health facility.
“Investigations are ongoing to determine the origins of the virus,” the department said in a statement.
The virus was affecting mostly teenagers and adults in the DRC. Health professionals in the province had strengthened “surveillance” of polio to prevent the spread.
The department said people needed to wash their hands before eating, as well as after using the toilet, as the polio virus was commonly spread through hands contaminated with infected stool.
Since Sunday there had been 184 case of acute flaccid paralysis and 85 deaths in the DRC.