As of yesterday, more than 500 people were confirmed admitted to designated treatment centres after being diagnosed with typhoid, the Health Ministry reports.
The source of the bacterial outbreak is suspected to be due to adulterated beverages and foods prompting health officials to warn the public of the capital of Kampala.
Preliminary laboratory investigations of sampled beverages and foods obtained from the Kampala central business district contained the Salmonella bacterium.
Dr Monica Musenero, the assistant commissioner in-charge of epidemiology and epidemic diseases at the Health ministry said, “We took samples of water, juices, and foods from areas where the outbreak hit hard. We suspect the outbreak is caused by something in the category of juice or water that is widely consumed by people,” said Dr Musenero. “The 1st laboratory samples tests and epidemiological links have hinted on water, but it’s still too early to mention which type of water,” she said.
The Ministry of Health and the Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) have advised the public to avoid eating cold foods, vegetables, and fruits and only drink safe water from reliable sources.
“The culprits will pay for their mischief”, authorities said.
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 bacteria in their bloodstream and intestinal tract. In addition, a small number of persons, called carriers, recover from typhoid fever but continue to carry the bacteria. 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.