Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Typhoid Outbreak In Uganda Reaches 12000 Cases

An outbreak of typhoid fever in Uganda has affected an estimated 12000 persons, killing 2. The affected districts are: Kampala, Wakiso, and Mukono. 

The spread has been attributed to an error in the thinking of majority of Ugandans that typhoid is spread through drinking contaminated water only. They do not know that practices such as eating contaminated food, eating food prepared by infected persons such as maids and unclean restaurant chefs and eating raw or undercooked food, puts them at risk of typhoid.

They also do not know that the unsanitary practices of others, practices such as improper excreta disposal methods, pit latrines contaminating the water table and failure to wash hands after a toilet visit, puts everyone at risk of disease and typhoid.

A typhoid vaccine can confer a 50-80% protection against infection but consumption of clean and safe water/food is of utmost importance to prevent getting infected.

Typhoid fever, also known as enteric fever, is a potentially fatal multisystemic illness caused primarily by Salmonella typhi and, to a lesser extent, paratyphi A, B, and C.

The classic presentation includes fever, malaise, diffuse abdominal pain, and constipation. Untreated, typhoid fever is a grueling illness that may progress to delirium, altered consciousness, intestinal hemorrhage, bowel perforation, and death within 1 month of onset. Survivors may be left with long-term or permanent neuropsychiatric complications.

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