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Durban’s meningitis warning after death of 7-year-old boy

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AT least 40 pupils as well as doctors, nurses and teachers in Amanzimtoti have been placed on antibiotics to prevent them from contracting a “very infectious” strain of meningitis following the death of a 7-year-old boy last week.

Paediatrician Thesiga Reddy, one of the doctors who treated the boy at Kingsway Hospital, said he was admitted with a “unique” case of meningococcal meningitis, which was known to progress rapidly. Although it was easy to treat in the early stages, “the child was unconscious by the time he got to the hospital”.

The boy was given the required antibiotics, but once that form of meningitis was at an advanced stage there was always “a poor outcome”.

Reddy said given that meningococcal meningitis was highly infectious the department of health had been informed of the boy’s case and was investigating. He said no other cases had been reported.

Following the boy’s death schools in Amanzimtoti have warned parents to carefully monitor the health of their children. Over the past few days pupils have been sent home with letters explaining what medical red flags their parents should look out for.

Amanzimtoti Primary School and Umdoni Pre-primary issued letters to parents while other institutions including Noah’s Ark Pre-school and Daycare Centre posted warnings on Facebook. However, all the schools assured the community that none of their pupils had contracted the disease.

Doctor Casandra Sullivan of the Amanzimtoti Intercare medical facility said: “It’s terrible that one child died but it’s not (threat of the disease) as major as stated on some Facebook posts.” She said South African children were vaccinated only with the drug Prevnar, which protected them against pneumococcal meningitis and not viral or meningococcal meningitis, which the boy had contracted.

Sullivan said while no other case of meningitis had been reported over the past few days, the few patients who had come in with “suspicious” symptoms had been sent to hospital as a precaution.

She said typical meningitis symptoms included severe headaches, neck ache and vomiting.

“Babies who have high fevers and don’t want to feed should be taken to the doctor immediately.”

Dr Reddy said parents could have their children vaccinated for meningococcal meningitis at private health care facilities as the vaccine was not available at government facilities.

Meanwhile, two cases of viral meningitis have been reported on the Bluff. A Marlborough Park Junior Primary School pupil was rushed to hospital with severe headaches a week ago but has since recovered and is back at school. The principal said no other pupils from the school had meningitis.

However, the boy’s mom has also contracted viral meningitis and is still in hospital. Yesterday she called on parents to be extra cautious when their children complained of headaches.

“When my son woke up he just kept on crying that his head is sore, and then his stomach started running and he was vomiting and that’s when I jumped in my car and took him to hospital.”

She said following blood tests and a lumbar puncture doctors informed her he had tested positive for viral meningitis. Just days after he was discharged she ended up in hospital and again a lumbar puncture indicated viral meningitis. She said apart from the severe headaches both she and her son had been extremely sensitive to light.

KZN health department spokesperson Ncumisa Mafunda said “there is no reason for alarm”.

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Watch: Teddy Mafia’s son-in-law targeted in Shallcross drive-by shooting

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Teddy mafia son in law

Kesavan Isaac Naidoo, the son-in-law of slain alleged Durban drug boss “Teddy Mafia” has survived a brazen attempted assassination on Wednesday, his family confirmed.

The incident took place at about 10am in Shallcross, south of Durban.

Naidoo, 41, is the son-in-law of Yaganathan Pillay – also known as Teddy Mafia.

He was shot twice in a daylight hit on Table Mountain Drive. The incident was captured on CCTV.

“Isaac was shot in both legs and his driver was shot in the hand. Both of them survived. They’re in hospital,” he said.

Read also: Alleged Durban drug kingpin Teddy Mafia killed, suspects beheaded

Pillay said Naidoo was in the back seat while his wife was in the front. The shooting, seen in the footage, takes place moments after they open the doors of their vehicle to get out.

In the footage, a white vehicle can be seen driving along Table Mountain Drive before it is stopped, partially blocking the left hand side of the road. Thirteen seconds later, Naidoo’s vehicle, a white Toyota Fortuna, pulls up.

The back passenger door of the Fortuner is opened, but it is not clear from the footage who the person was who opened it or if they got out of the vehicle.

Naidoo’s wife is seen getting out of the front passenger side of the vehicle and walks towards the rear of the SUV.

Suddenly, four men alight from the stationary vehicle, three of them drawing firearms and running towards the Fortuner, firing multiple shots. The fourth man stands next to the white car.

As the bullets are fired, Naidoo’s driver accelerates and drives past the other vehicle. Naidoo is presumably in the vehicle as it speeds away, but this could not immediately be confirmed.

Pillay said Naidoo was doing “OK”.

Police have been approached for comment, and this story will be updated.

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Facebook Down, Instagram and WhatsApp also offline

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Facebook Down, Instagram and WhatsApp also offline

Facebook is currently experiencing an outage impacting its family of sites including WhatsApp and Instagram.

Most Facebook users are seeing an error message that says ‘This site can’t be reached.’ On Instagram, the error message shows as a 5xx Server Error message.

The outage is impacting users on both desktop and mobile.

“We’re aware that some people are having trouble accessing our apps and products,” Andy Stone, policy communications manager at Facebook, tweeted on Monday. “We’re working to get things back to normal as quickly as possible, and we apologize for any inconvenience.”

Facebook Messenger and Oculus are also experiencing outages.

The first reports on DownDetector.com started around 5pm.

According to The Verge, the issue is likely related to a DNS issue. When Slack experienced an outage last week, it was also related to DNS issues.

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Husband killed, wife critical as robbers open fire during Joburg home invasion

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randpark home invasion

A home invasion on Sunday night left a man dead and his wife fighting for her life after they were shot by robbers in Randpark, Johannesburg.

Emer-G-Med private emergency services paramedics found the man had sustained fatal gunshot wounds and he was declared dead.

His wife was also shot several times and was stabilised before being taken by ambulance to a nearby hospital for treatment.

Reports from the scene indicated there were several armed assailants.

Police are investigating the incident.- TimesLIVE

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