Over the past few weeks, the Auckland Regional Public Health Service has been investigating four Typhoid fever cases in South Auckland.
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.
Investigations into this cluster of Typhoid fever is unusual in that three of these cases are close together in time and place, none of these individuals has travelled overseas, so it may be that there is a local source for the cause of their illness,” said Dr Julia Peters, Clinical Director, Auckland Regional Public Health Service. “
No further cases have been identified.”
Our preliminary investigations identified that three of the four cases had eaten at particular food outlets and samples have been taken to eliminate these premises and their staff from our investigations,” she said.
Dr Peters said some samples were still to be collected. A few results have come in and they are negative but a more comprehensive update will not be available until later next week.
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.
The best way of preventing spread of the Typhoid is by thorough hand hygiene – washing hands with soap and running water for 20 seconds and drying them for a further 20 seconds on a clean dry towel or disposable paper towels.
Anyone experiencing these symptoms should contact their GP or nearest medical centre.
Further information will be made available next week.
A fact sheet on Typhoid is attached for your information.
Dr Julia Peters
Auckland Regional Public Health Service
Ph: (09) 623 4600
External Communications Manager
Auckland District Health Board
Phone: (09) 630 9952, Fax (09) 630 9789, Mobile: 021 804 122