Typhoid cases in Johannesburg 'not an outbreak'

2016-01-25 07:29
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Johannesburg - The Gauteng health department confirmed over the weekend that four cases of typhoid fever have been identified in Johannesburg, and that one person has died.

Typhoid fever is an acute severe illness caused by the bacterium Salmonella typhi, according to Health24. It is acquired by swallowing the organism in contaminated food or water. Typical symptoms include fever, headache, abdominal pain, rash, diarrhoea and an enlarged spleen. It can be cured with antibiotics.

The department said in a statement on Sunday that the cases were identified in Hillbrow, Yeoville, Edenvale, and Palm Springs.

Two of the patients were admitted to the Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital and the other two patients to the Edenvale District Hospital.

A 27-year-old female Malawian patient died at the Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital on January 17. She had travelled to Malawi for the festive season and returned to Johannesburg through Mozambique on January 12, the department said.

Meanwhile, the National Institute of Communicable of Diseases assured South Africans that there is not a typhoid outbreak in Johannesburg, TimesLIVE reported, saying the four cases were found to be unrelated.

Gauteng Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu told Talk Radio 702 host John Robbie on Monday morning that the typhoid cases are serious but the situation is under control, urging health professionals to be on the lookout for symptoms of fever, vomiting and abdominal problems. Mahlangu advised people to always wash their hands.

DA Gauteng Shadow Health MEC Jack Bloom said he was concerned by the four typhoid cases, adding that swift and effective measures are needed to contain a possible typhoid outbreak.

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  health

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