Published Date: 2014-07-22 02:36:13
Subject: PRO/EDR> Typhoid fever – Zimbabwe: (Harare)
Archive Number: 20140722.2626571
TYPHOID FEVER – ZIMBABWE: (HARARE)
A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases
Date: Mon 21 Jul 2014
Source: NewsDay Zimbabwe [edited]
A typhoid fever scare has hit parts of Harare where 18 new suspected cases were recorded over the past week. According to the latest disease surveillance report released by the Ministry of Health and Child Care, the outbreak was also recorded in Mashonaland and Manicaland provinces.
Typhoid fever is a bacterial disease caused by _Salmonella_ Typhi. It is transmitted through the ingestion of food or water contaminated with human waste from an infected person. Symptoms usually develop from about 3 weeks after exposure and may be mild or severe. They include high fever, malaise, headache, constipation or diarrhoea, rose-coloured spots on the chest, and enlarged spleen and liver. Healthy carrier state may follow acute illness.
The typhoid outbreak comes at a time Harare residents have had erratic water supplies and poor quality tap water. Most research findings have condemned the quality of water supplied by Harare City Council although council officials have insisted that the water had passed World Health Organization standards.
The report also said there has been an increase in diarrhoea-related deaths. “25 diarrhoea deaths were reported within a week in which most cases are attributed to rotavirus infection and mostly in under 5 [year old] children,” the report reads. Lately, the government has scaled up its rotavirus vaccinations to curb the outbreak especially among children aged between 6 and 10 weeks.
ProMED-mail from HealthMap Alerts
[Typhoid fever outbreaks were reported in and around Harare in 2011, 2012, and 2013, with a total number of suspected cases reported to about 5000 (see ProMED-mail post Typhoid fever update 2012 (12): Zimbabwe (HA) 20121209.1443859).
An investigative team from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in collaboration with Zimbabwe government officials, attributed this outbreak to fecal contamination of drinking water in the overcrowded residential suburbs of Harare, where rural-to-urban migration has outpaced maintenance and expansion of water supply and sewerage infrastructure (Notes from the Field: _Salmonella_ Typhi Infections Associated with Contaminated Water — Zimbabwe, October 2011-May 2012 CDC. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2012; 61(23); 435. Available at http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6123a3.htm?s_cid=mm6123a3_e).
Zimbabwe is divided into 8 provinces and 2 cities (Harare and Bulawayo) with provincial status (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bulawayo_Province). Manicaland province is located on Zimbabwe’s eastern border adjacent to the Republic of Mozambique. Mashonaland East, Mashonaland Central, and Mashonaland West provinces surround Harare (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Provinces_of_Zimbabwe).
Harare is the largest city and capital of Zimbabwe and has an estimated population of 1 606 000 (2009), with 2 800 000 in its metropolitan area (2006) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harare). Harare can be located on the HealthMap/ProMED-mail interactive map of Zimbabwe at http://healthmap.org/promed/p/171. – Mod.ML]