More typhoid deaths in Zimbabwe

2012-02-13 17:04

Special Report

Harare - The Health Ministry in Zimbabwe said on Monday it has recorded two suspected typhoid deaths, as an outbreak of the disease appeared to worsen.

The ministry was awaiting laboratory analysis to confirm if the deaths were the result of the bacterial disease that is spread through contaminated food and water. The two people were reported to have died in the last five days.

Since the start of the outbreak in late October, 2 716 cases have been identified, mostly in two crowded townships with limited and run-down sanitation infrastructure near the capital Harare.

According to the latest assessment from health officials, the number of new cases in other areas has increased but was expected to "taper off" as the rainy season recedes.

In late 2008, Zimbabwe suffered a cholera outbreak that claimed nearly 4 000 lives.

Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights said the typhoid outbreak was "a embarrassing sign of the state of collapse in the country".

In a statement, the group said it was "alarming for such a preventable and medieval disease to continue to incommode people in this day and age".

Last week, the country's largest magistrates' court in Harare was forced to close as scores of magistrates, prosecutors and clerks were sent home exhibiting typhoid symptoms. Officials said the court had been without water "for weeks".

Read more on:    zimbabwe  |  health  |  southern africa

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