KwaZulu-Natal Health MEC – Sibongiseni Dhlomo – has denied that there is a salmonella food poisoning outbreak in the Ethekwini metro. He has cautioned the media not to cause panic by defining the increase in the number of these cases as an outbreak.
The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) defines food borne infections as an outbreak, if there are at least two linked cases. A restaurant in Umhlanga has had thirty-six cases of salmonella food poisoning, when patrons became ill at the beginning of October and the beginning of November.
Since then more cases have come to light and at least 20 people have been hospitalised.
Dhlomo explains, “Maybe the right way of putting it is that there are certain South Africans in KwaZulu-Natal who went to a particular restaurant and came out there with symptoms suggestive of food poisoning. Specimens of the food samples and what actually came out from the stools has since been taken. And therefore, we would actually say we are happy that whatever seems to have been the problem has been identified. Because in any outbreak it becomes a panic if you don’t know what the source is.”