Western Cape Health Minister Dr Nomafrench Mbombo, and the Western Cape Minister of Education Debbie Schäfer conduct oversight at the School Wellness Mobile based at Yomelela Primary School in Khayelitsha. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency (ANA)

Cape Town - Contrary to social media reports there are no increases or outbreaks of viral meningitis in Cape Town schools, the Western Cape Health Department has said. 

Reports of viral meningitis cases being reported in schools in the Grassy Park, Retreat, Steenberg area, with one case already being confirmed from Muizenberg High, are false the department said.

The Western Cape Education Department (WCED) was contacted on matter but according to Jessica Shelver, spokesperson for Education MEC Debbie Schäfer, the WCED works collaboratively with the provincial health department on health issues affecting schools.

"The department then keeps the education department informed and we act on their advice," Shelver said.

Western Cape Health Department spokesperson, Mark van der Heever, said that they have not received any notification of an outbreak or increase in cases.

"Viral meningitis is the most common type and the least dangerous and is prevalent throughout the year. It’s caused by an enterovirus but can also be caused by measles or chicken pox viruses," Van der Heever said. 

"We encourage caregivers to ensure their children’s immunization status is up to date and to reduce the risk of infection to ensure children wash your hands regularly and avoid contact with an infected person. People who developed a temperature combined with a headache, stiff neck or nausea to visit their nearest clinic for assessment and treatment."


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Cape Argus