Typhoid fever clusters in SA

The National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD) identified four clusters of Typhoid Fever in South Africa.

The affected areas are Western Cape with three identified clusters and North West having on cluster identified since 2020 until Jan 2022. Typhoid fever is a bacteria disease that is spread through food or water that has been contaminated; it can also be spread through close contact.

Its symptoms include constipation or diarrhea, prolonged fever, headaches and abdominal pains.

According to NICD, Typhoid fever is a disease of poverty as it is usually associated with a lack of clean drinking water and poor sanitation. Although the fever may be contracted through contaminated water, the NICD confirmed that there is no evidence that the recent cases of the fever are linked to contaminated municipal water in any part of the country.

The NICD also says that there is no evidence that the bacteria causing the fever have recently been identified in municipality water sources anywhere in the country even though a case has been recently confirmed in the Gauteng province.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), two vaccines have been used for many years to prevent typhoid. A new typhoid conjugate vaccine with longer lasting immunity was prequalified by WHO in December 2017.

Although the fever can be treated with antibiotics, the NICD regard it as a potentially life threatening infection. Residents are encouraged to use and consume safe water and in cases of concern then boil the water before usage. Also keep food at recommended temperatures.

By Lineo Khabele for African View News