The Auckland Regional Public Health Service (ARPHS) continues to investigate the Typhoid fever cases in South Auckland.
Dr Julia Peters, clinical director at ARPHS, says the results are still coming in but those results they have so far are negative.
We are keen to get all the results in and eliminate the staff and the premises in South Auckland from our investigations,” she says. “
We are continually monitoring the situation and no further cases have been identified.”
Preliminary investigations by ARPHS identified that three of the four cases had eaten at particular food outlets in South Auckland and samples have been taken from staff at these premises.
Dr Peters says the best way of preventing the spread of Typhoid is by thorough hand hygiene and careful food handling, including washing fruit and vegetables before they are consumed raw.
Hand washing with running water, and hand friction by vigorous rubbing with soap for 20 seconds and drying for a further 20 seconds on a clean dry towel is essential for the decontamination of dirty hands,” she says.
Even if hands don’t ‘feel dirty’, they can easily be contaminated by germs or viruses in many ways, such as faecal contamination or through the use of communal hand towels.”
Typhoid fever is caused by a bacterium called Salmonella typhi and on average, in the Auckland region, 20 cases of Typhoid fever are investigated each year. Since the start of November, 17 cases have been reported which is an increase in the expected number of cases for the period. Most of these cases have been linked to visitors from the Pacific Islands.
Salmonella typhi infection causes a gastro enteric illness that is spread through the faecal oral route, usually through consumption of contaminated food and drink or through close person contact with an infected person. Symptoms include, fever, headache, malaise, diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting and occasionally a rash on the trunk develop from 1-3 weeks after infection.
It can take up to 30 days to develop signs of the illness and diagnosis of the disease is by blood tests or stool samples and treatment with antibiotics is usually required.
Anyone experiencing these symptoms should contact their GP or nearest medical centre.
The Auckland Regional Public Health Service plans to provide a further up-date at the end of this week.
For further information contact:
Dr Julia Peters
Clinical Director, Auckland Regional Public Health Service
Ph: (09) 623 4600