Over 60 young children who attended Blantyre Community Centre Playgroup were confined to their homes in mid March 1979 after being all hit by a virus.
Doctors confirmed at least 2 of them had dysentery and were at a loss as to what was causing it. Centre staff took the outbreak seriously, asking parents to keep their children at home. All the play equipment including many toys were destroyed and professional cleaners hired to bleach the entire place.
Dysentery is a contagious disease and needs isolation. Dr David Colville at Blantyre Health Centre told staff that Dysentery was a much more serious disease than the usual tummy bugs encountered in day to day childrens playgroups. It is very easily spread by hands and mouths.
Thankfully the crisis calmed down with children returning almost 2 weeks later.
From the book, “Blantyre Explained” by Paul Veverka (c) 2018
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