At least two people are thought to have died and as many as 29 others fell ill with diarrhoea after they ate food at a funeral of an old lady on the West Rand.
On Thursday – two weeks after the funeral – the Gauteng Department of Health said mourners who were throwing up and had running stomachs suffered from suspected food poisoning.
“The Gauteng Department of Health can confirm that it is dealing with cases of a cluster outbreak of suspected food poisoning in the West Rand District,” said a statement from the department on Thursday issued by Kwara Kekana, spokesperson Gauteng MEC for Health Dr. Nomathemba Mokgethi.
“The poisoning is suspected to have emanated from a funeral of an elderly woman, funeral proceedings are reported to have begun at 07:00 on Saturday, 13 November 2021.”
Food was served around 11:00 and reports of sudden vomiting and diarrhoea began at around 16:00 the same day.
“On Monday, 15 November 2021 at 07:30, the West Rand District Health Services received communication about a suspected food poisoning cluster outbreak following a funeral in Kadima Street, Kagiso,” said the statement.
The department said it was working closely with the West Rand District in the investigation of the incident.
At least two patients are thought to have succumbed to the illness.
“On Sunday evening, there were rumours of eight cases of people with symptoms and one death,” said the department.
“There are 29 notified and verified cases admitted and treated in both Public and Private facilities which are awaiting results of samples collected to find causative organism.”
There were reports of 11 other cases that had not been verified.
On the two suspected deaths, the department said the District Health Service was waiting for the cause of death report.
“Water and food samples have also been collected and the District Health Services is awaiting results,” said the department.
“The investigation into the incident is ongoing”