Update on Several Meningitis Cases Reported in Mossel Bay | Western Cape Government


Update on Several Meningitis Cases Reported in Mossel Bay

28 January 2016

An update on the current status of Enteroviral Meningitis in the Western Cape and the media statement issued on 28 January 2016:

Current status: Update 29 January 2016

  • A total of 34 (5 new cases) lab-confirmed enteroviral meningitis cases have been reported and hospitalised from 01 December 2015 – 28 January 2016.
  • 33 of the cases are children under 12 years and one adult case to date (37-year-old male).
  • No severe or complicated cases to date; no deaths.
  • All cases were hospitalised at a private institution in Mossel Bay
  • Response team was activated within the area to do contact tracing.

Official Statement: 28 January 2016

The Western Cape Government Health can confirm that a number of cases of Enteroviral Meningitis have been reported in Mossel Bay between 1 December 2015 and 24 January 2016. All cases are being treated successfully,  without any loss of life. No new cases have been reported in the past two days.

    This is not the bacterial form (known as meningococcal) of meningitis. In South Africa seasonal peaks occur especially in warmer months.  A local response team was activated after an increase number of cases were admitted to a hospital. The situation is being monitored to contain the spread of the disease. 

Symptoms can be varied, overlapping with various other illnesses. The common signs and symptoms to look out for are:

  • Fever, headache, stiff neck, tiredness, sensitivity to light
  • Rash, sore throat and vomiting can also occur

Consult a doctor, clinic, or hospital immediately if a person shows any of the below mentioned danger signs:

  • loss of consciousness,
  • fits (seizures),
  • muscle weakness, or
  • a rash consisting of dark, red discolorations all over the body.

How can you prevent getting infected?

  • Hand hygiene (regular hand washing with soap and water) and good personal hygiene helps to prevent infection with many viruses including enteroviruses. The virus is spread through contact with contaminated stool.
  • Wash hands with soap and water after using the toilet, before preparing food, and after sneezing and coughing. 
  • Adults should teach and encourage children to wash their hands properly, and emphasise regular handwashing when children are at school and in contact with other children.
Media Enquiries: 

Marika Champion
Director: Communications
Western Cape Government Health
Tel: 021 483 3235
Mobile: 074 011 2244