South Africa’s National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) has just raised a red alert about typhoid outbreaks in the Western Cape and North West.
The outbreak was confirmed by Juno Thomas of the center for enteric diseases center, who noted that the institute is currently working with health authorities to be the outbreak under control.
She also noted that the NICD has been using genome sequencing to investigate typhoid fever in South Africa, as well as get the genetic makeup of the outbreaks.
In the past few years, South Africa saw less than 150 cases of typhoid fever, also called enteric fever, each year.
At the moment, though, vide the NICD disclosure, the Western Cape currently has over 64 cases in three separate outbreaks. It’s much lower in Gauteng, though. The province has recorded only 45 cases, while the North West has recorded only 18 cases.
The outbreaks might be lower in some provinces, but the authorities are treating them all with the same diligence.
Addressing some challenges in diagnosing typhoid in South Africa, Thomas had pointed at the lack of awareness among clinicians and healthcare workers. The NICD believes that typhoid infections are significantly underreported in South Africa.
Untreated, typhoid, which is caused by a bacterium called Salmonella typhi, can be fatal