Health officials have reported an outbreak of acute diarrhea throughout Botswana. According to officials, 1776 cases, including six deaths, have been confirmed as of mid-September. The most affected areas are Mahalapye, Serowe, Ngami, and Boteti.
Diarrheal diseases are generally caused by bacteria which spread via contaminated food or drinking water, or from person-to-person as a result of improper hygiene. Diarrheal diseases usually lead to dehydration as water and electrolytes (sodium, chloride, potassium, and bicarbonate) are lost. Children are particularly vulnerable.
To reduce the risk of contracting diarrheal diseases (or other water-borne illenesses), do not drink tap water or beverages with ice, and avoid any undercooked dishes, especially meats and seafood, as well as any other foods that cannot be thoroughly cooked, peeled, or disinfected (e.g. ice cream, berries, etc.). Wash hands and surrounding surfaces frequently. Consult with a medical professional for further information or if displaying symptoms.
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