Update On Typhoid Cases Confirmed in Western Cape
An update on the current status of Typhoid Fever in the Western Cape and the media statement issued on 28 January 2016:
Update 29 January 2016: Typhoid fever
- Total confirmed Typhoid fever cases in Western Cape is six (6).
- Two confirmed typhoid fever cases ( female children aged 9 and 10) were admitted to Red Cross Children’s Hospital and Khayelitsha Hospital respectively and a 52 year old man was admitted to Stellenbosch Hospital. These cases were confirmed between 10 and 20 January 2016. Two have been discharged and one is still in hospital.
- On 27 and 28 January 2016, two more cases were reported.
- A 34 year old female with travel history to Zimbabwe was admitted to Tygerberg Hospital and
- A 42 year old male was admitted to New Somerset Hospital – we are awaiting further detail on his travel history.
- Another case (male child) was reported at a private hospital in the Cape Town Metropole after he was discharged. We await further detail but can confirm he has had recent travel history to India.
- Please note that none of these cases are epidemiologically-linked (so there is no outbreak). All confirmed cases are investigated and contacts followed-up.
Media Statement: 28th January 2016
The Western Cape Government Health can confirm three cases of Typhoid fever for 2016 in the Western Cape - some with travel history to affected areas in Africa.
Two confirmed typhoid fever cases (9 and 10 year old girls) were identified at facilities in the Cape Town Metropole and 1 case (52 year old male) in the Cape Winelands district. All three cases are still under investigation and we await further detail around their condition and travel history.
There is no need for concern as typhoid is endemic within South Africa, and sporadic cases are reported in all provinces every year. The laboratory services in South Africa identified 72 typhoid cases in 2015, and 103 in 2014. Most cases in South Africa have a travel history to a place where there is a current outbreak of typhoid. We are seeing slightly more cases in January, because persons who travelled in December and acquired typhoid at their destinations have returned, and are now developing symptoms.
There is an ongoing risk of typhoid fever in any area where water quality and sanitation is not optimal. Hospitalised patients are cared for using standard precautions. It is important to educate the patient and care givers about prevention to reduce the risk of transmission including good hygiene practices (e.g. handwashing).
The symptoms of typhoid overlap with a number of other infectious diseases important in the region notably malaria.
Members of the public are advised to seek care from their local health care providers if they experience symptoms such as:
Fever that is intermittent during the first week, but becomes sustained:
- Abdominal pain/cramps,
- Nausea and vomiting,
- Constipation or diarrhoea.
- A skin rash with faint pink spots which develops on the chest, abdomen and back, and nonspecific symptoms, such as chills, sweating, loss of appetite, cough, weakness, sore throat, dizziness and muscle pain.