More typhoid cases confirmed in South Africa

A total number of 13 typhoid cases has been confirmed in South Africa but there is no panic for an outbreak, health authorities said on Monday.

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Among the confirmed cases, five including one death were reported in the Gauteng Province, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) said in its latest update on the disease.

doctor“We request that health care professionals be on the lookout for further cases, especially amongst persons returning from areas where typhoid is endemic, or recent outbreaks have been reported,” the NICD said.

The institute added it’s common around this time of the year to have an increase in the number of typhoid cases as people return from holidays in areas where the disease is endemic.

Typhoid is caused by bacteria which invades the blood stream and presents with very high fever. It can be contracted through contaminated water and food.

Typhoid is endemic in Africa including South Africa. Fever, headache and abdominal pain are common symptoms. Antibiotic therapy is effective in the majority of cases.

In the pre-antibiotic era, typhoid carried a mortality of 5-20 percent, and was a much feared illness.
However there are currently very effective antibiotics for treatment. In South Africa, typhoid is a notifiable condition, as it has epidemic potential.

Typhoid is endemic within South Africa, and sporadic cases are reported in all provinces every year. In addition to sporadic endemic disease, clusters and outbreaks may occur.

There is ongoing risk of typhoid fever in any area where water quality and sanitation is not optimal.

Contamination of water supplies has resulted in numerous large-scale outbreaks in the past, according to the NICD. Enditem

Source: Xinhua

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