The typhoid outbreak that began in Muchinga province in early March has grown to at least 127 cases, including one death, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Salmonella serotype Typhi
Typhoid image/CDC

More than half the cases have been reported in children 14 years and younger.

Officials say substantial reductions in the weekly case incidence have been observed since the outbreak peaked in early May.

The following public health actions have been taken: an environmental investigation of drinking water sources, education of the public to include door-to-door campaigns and radio spots and the distribution of chlorine.

Typhoid fever, caused by the bacterium Salmonella typhi, is a life-threatening bacterial infection. Typhoid fever is still common in the developing world, where it affects about 21 million people annually.

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 foodor 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 antibiotics usually begin to feel better within 2 to 3 days.