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Mon Sep 26 02:17:21 SAST 2016

Typhoid fever spreads to Cape, health department confirms three cases

Naledi Shange | 28 January, 2016 09:23
Rose spots on the chest of a patient with typhoid fever due to the bacterium Salmonella typhi. Symptoms of typhoid fever may include a sustained fever as high as 103° to 104° F (39° to 40° C), weakness, stomach pains, headache, loss of appetite. In some cases, patients have a rash of flat, rose-coloured spots.
Image by: CDC

Three cases of typhoid fever have been reported in the Western Cape, the provincial health department said on Thursday. 

Two of the patients were children, both girls aged 9 and 10, in the Cape Town area.

The third patient was a 52-year-old man from the Cape Winelands, said department spokesperson Mark van den Heever.  Some of them had travelled to affected areas including Zimbabwe. The first case was identified on 10 January and the latest one on 20 January. 

Typhoid fever is a severe illness caused by the bacterium Salmonella typhi, according to Health24.

It is acquired by swallowing the organism in contaminated food or water. Typical symptoms include fever, headache, abdominal pain, rash, diarrhoea and an enlarged spleen. It can be cured with antibiotics.

More cases expected in Gauteng

The Gauteng health department confirmed over the weekend that four cases of typhoid fever had been identified in Johannesburg, and that one person had died, News24 reported on Monday.

The department said in a statement on Sunday that the cases were identified in Hillbrow and Yeoville in Johannesburg, Edenvale in Ekurhuleni, and Palm Springs in Vereeniging. Two of the patients were admitted to the Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital and the other two patients to the Edenvale District Hospital.

The 27-year-old female Malawian patient died at Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital on January 17.

She had travelled to Malawi for the festive season and returned to Johannesburg via Mozambique on January 12.

Source: News24

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