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Durban - AT LEAST nine cases of meningitis, including one which resulted in the death of a primary school pupil, have been reported in the eThekwini region over the past two months.

On Friday, St Augustine’s Hospital said it had treated seven people for meningitis since January. The Daily News understands that most of those patients were from the Bluff and that they had all contracted viral meningitis.

However, eThekwini Municipality said since January two people from eManzimtoti, including a seven-year-old pupil who was home-schooled, were treated for the potentially fatal bacterial meningitis.

The boy was taken to the nearby Kingsway Hospital, but doctors said he was already unconscious by the time he was admitted and died a few hours later.

Following that, at least 40 people who had come into contact with the boy were placed on antibiotics to prevent them from contracting the “very infectious” strain of meningitis.

Municipal spokesperson Msawakhe Mayisela said: “All necessary precautionary measures were instituted in order to prevent the further spread; that is the administration of chemoprophylaxis treatment to all close contacts - household, school children and hospital health-care workers.”

He said the second person who contracted bacterial meningitis was also from eManzimtoti, but he would not disclose any further information.

Mayisela also revealed that two people were recently diagnosed with, and treated for, listeriosis, but said the disease was contained. Both patients were women aged between 39 and 57 and were residents of Isipingo and Phoenix.

“The source of infection could not be established as all implicated food leftovers were not available,” said Mayisela. He said the most recent listeriosis patient had been discharged from StAugustine’s Hospital and was already back at work.

An estimated 206 people died and a further 200 women had miscarriages in South Africa’s biggest listeriosis outbreak in the 2017-2018 period. The source of the outbreak was traced to a Tiger Brands factory in Polokwane. Thus far at least 500 people have signed up to be part of a class action lawsuit to hold the company legally and financially responsible for the loss suffered as a result of the outbreak. The national Department of Health said at least 1 000 people were affected by listeriosis during that period.

Daily News