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Gauteng metros call for calm amid fears of typhoid fever outbreak

Tshwane has nine known cases

Isaac Mahlangu Senior reporter
Tshwane has recorded nine cases of typhoid.
Tshwane has recorded nine cases of typhoid.
Image: Supplied

Gauteng metros are on high alert amid fears of possible outbreaks of typhoid fever which has already been declared in the Western Cape and North West provinces.

The Ekurhuleni metro has already announced that it's now watchful for cases of enteric fever after the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) announced an outbreak of typhoid fever in the Western Cape and North West.

City of Tshwane's MMC for health Rina Marx said Tshwane has recorded nine cases of typhoid but this did not yet qualify to be called an outbreak.

“There's no typhoid breakout in the city presently, to call it a breakout a group of people in a specific area should be confirmed with the infection,” Marx said.

She said the nine cases in Tshwane were “scattered across the city” with two of the cases dating back to December.

City of Joburg MMC for environment and infrastructure services Michael Sun said there was no need to panic over typhoid in the metro.

He said Joburg water was engaging private and independent laboratories to conduct typhoid tests for bacteria with results thereof going to be made public as soon as they are available.

Typhoid symptoms include prolonged high fever, fatigue, constipation, diarrhoea, headache and nausea, which can resemble many other infections.

It is transmitted through ingesting food or water contaminated with the faeces of an infected person.

Ekurhuleni spokesperson Zweli Dlamini said as a precautionary measure, the city’s environmental health practitioners are on stand-by to attend to any suspected cases of enteric fever.

“Should a suspected case be identified, our practitioners will be dispatched immediately to the identified patient and conduct an assessment of the patient and possible sources of exposure,” Dlamini said.

He said the city urges residents experiencing any of the listed symptoms above to present themselves to their nearest clinic or health facility for assessment, diagnosis and treatment. “The city also calls for calm as there is no need for panic,” Dlamini said.

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