Typhoid outbreak in Central Uganda


The Uganda Health Ministry has reported at least two deaths associated to the typhoid outbreak in three Central Uganda districts, according to a Coast Week report.

Of the 142 suspect typhoid cases reported by health officials in Mukono, Wakiso and Kampala districts, eight have been laboratory confirmed.

Health officials say 11 other fatalities are being investigated as part of the outbreak.

“The cause of the infection is suspected to be a contaminated drinking water source around the affected areas,”health officials note.

Typhoid fever is a potentially life-threatening illness caused by the bacterium Salmonella typhi. Salmonella typhi lives only in humans. Persons with typhoid fever carry the bacteriain their bloodstream and intestinal tract. In addition, a small number of persons, called carriers, recover from typhoid fever but continue to carry thebacteria. Both ill persons and carriers shed S.typhi in their feces.

You can get typhoid fever if you eat food or drink beverages that have been handled by a person who is shedding S. typhi or if sewage contaminated with S. typhi bacteria gets into the water you use for drinking or washing food. Therefore, typhoid fever is more common in areas of the world where handwashing is less frequent and water is likely to be contaminated with sewage.

Typhoid fever can be successfully treated with appropriate antibiotics, and persons given antibioticsusually begin to feel better within 2 to 3 days.