An outbreak of typhoid in Uganda, which started in January, has led to more than 12,000 suspected cases and two deaths, reports CRJ Editorial Advisory Panel Member Roger Gomm.
Cases have been reported in Kampala, Wakiso, and Mukono districts. The WHO says that the most affected groups are young males aged between 20 and 39 years, and that the majority of cases work in the business sector or as casual labourers. Food and juice vendors, and cooks, are also affected.
Kampala in Uganda was said to be the epicentre of the outbreak, which has affected 12,000 people (photo Shutterstock)
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in the US has issued a travel recommendation that visitors to country get a typhoid vaccine before travelling and follow water and food precautions during their trip.
Contaminated drinking water and juices have been identified as the main sources of infection. The majority of water sources that have been tested were heavily contaminated with Escherichia coli and faecal matter.
A National Task Force has been activated to manage the outbreak. With support from WHO and other partners such as CDC, UNICEF, AFENET, Red Cross and others, the country is implementing control measures.
An outbreak of typhoid has also been declared in Zanzibar.
The disease is a bacterial infection that is passed on through contaminated food and water or through close contact with an infected person. The infection can sperad through many organs; without prompt treatment, it can cause serious complications and can be fatal.