Food poisoning drama at Gelvan frail care centre

TRAGEDY HITS: The Gelvan Park Frail and Aged Home where residents suffered food poisoning  Picture: BRIAN WITBOOI
TRAGEDY HITS: The Gelvan Park Frail and Aged Home where residents suffered food poisoning
Picture: BRIAN WITBOOI

A Gelvan Park frail care centre resident has died following a serious bout of food poisoning at the facility.

Emergency medical services staff had to work through the night after a mass outbreak of suspected food poisoning at the centre affected almost 60 residents and employees.

Provincial health spokesman Sizwe Kupelo confirmed late yesterday afternoon that one person – a 72-year-old woman – had died of food poisoning.

The centre was one of the places identified as a new home for patients from Algoa Frail Care and Lorraine Frail Care, when the Department of Social Development said it was closing the only two fully state-funded frail care centres in Port Elizabeth later this year.

EMS Nelson Mandela Bay manager Brenhan Metune said their call centre had received a call at 2.30am yesterday from one of the nurses on duty.

“There were 59 patients who were vomiting and suffering from abdominal cramps,” he said. Five of the patients were employees at the centre.

Metune said due to the large number, the patients were divided between the accident and emergency units at Livingstone and Dora Nginza hospitals.

“It is understood that chicken that was prepared, fried and cooked on Saturday was rewarmed on Sunday for lunch.

“The symptoms developed during the night,” he said.

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