By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

Officials in the capital city of Zimbabwe, Harare report seeing 858 new typhoid cases in the last six months, with the suburbs of  Glen View and Budiriro hit the hardest according to a report in The Herald. No deaths have been recorded.

Image/Robert Herriman

The reason for the outbreak is due to its failure to constantly supply clean water and delays in attending to sewer bursts or leakages, local authorities state.

Harare Town Clerk Engineer Hosiah Chisango said, “The drivers for water-borne diseases (cholera and typhoid) have been water cuts or availability of municipal water, contaminated, sewer bursts or leakages, use of shallow wells, illegal vending of cooked food, attending gatherings during an outbreak, poor hygiene practices and household contact to a case.”

Typhoid fever is a potentially life-threatening illness caused by the bacterium Salmonella typhiSalmonella 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.

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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.

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

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