Health authorities warn of the possibility of a dengue fever and typhoid outbreak in Nampula province in the north of the country, according to a Rádio Moçambique report (computer translated).

Aedes mosquito
Aedes aegypti image/CDC

The Nampula provincial health chief, Jocelina Clavete, reported Thursday that concerning dengue, of the 90 samples taken and analyzed at the hospital in Nampula, 50 percent tested positive. In addition, there is an unspecified number of suspected typhoid fever cases in the province.

Related: Mozambique cholera outbreak sickens more than 4500

With more than one-third of the world’s population living in areas at risk for infection, dengue virus is a leading cause of illness and death in the tropics and subtropics, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

As many as 400 million people are infected yearly. Dengue is caused by any one of four related viruses transmitted by mosquitoes. There are not yet any vaccines to prevent infection with dengue virus and the most effective protective measures are those that avoid mosquito bites. When infected, early recognition and prompt supportive treatment can substantially lower the risk of medical complications and death.

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 lessfrequent 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.

Learn more about typhoid fever in this educational video