Hours after the Department of Health in Gauteng issued a statement warning South Africans of a possible outbreak of typhoid fever within the Johannesburg area – Hillbrow, Yeoville, Edenvale, and Palm Springs, the National Institute of Communicable Diseases has announced a counter statement saying that there is no outbreak of Typhoid fever in Johannesburg and that the public need not to panic.
Though there were reported cases of four typhoid fever patients identified in Johannesburg of which one was said to have died, weekend investigations set up by the National Institute of Communicable of Diseases said the cases were unrelated.
Professor Lucille Blumberg of the Institution said,
“An investigation was done by the Department of Health and they assured that two of the cases were siblings and two were not related. The Typhoid might be reported but they are not related, so there isn’t an outbreak in Gauteng.”
Speaking further on the alleged outbreak, Democratic Alliance’s Jack Bloom raised an alarm for swift and effective measures to be taken to contain possible outbreak adding that he was concerned that the strain could be antibiotic resistant.
Addressing this, the Deputy-Director at the institute‚ Professor Lucille Blumberg explained that none of the four typhoid cases was the antibiotic resistant strain. She praised the department of health in Gauteng for their quick response and investigation into the four cases found, adding that the cases were a bit unusual.
Gauteng Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu has further explained via a radio conversation on Monday morning that the typhoid cases are serious but the situation is under control. They urged health professionals to be on the lookout for symptoms of fever, vomiting and abdominal problems. Mahlangu advised people to always wash their hands.
Common Symptoms Of Typhoid Fever
Typhoid fever is however, an infection that causes diarrhea and a rash. It is most commonly caused by a type of bacterium called Salmonella typhi (S. typhi ). As earlier said by the Deputy-Director at the institute‚ Professor Lucille Blumberg, early symptoms of the fever include general ill-feeling and abdominal pain, high fever (103°F, or 39.5°C) or higher and severe diarrhea. Others include:
- Rash called “rose spots”
- Abdominal tenderness
- Bloody stools
- Severe fatigue
- Slow, sluggish, lethargic feeling