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SASTM Newsflash - Typhoid fever update - Malawi, DRC and India


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SASTM Newsflash





Malawi (Southern Region)


Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital (QECH) has been recording 30 000 cases of typhoid fever every month since January 2013 the hospital confirmed. "The hospital has been receiving an increasing number of typhoid fever suspects mostly children since the end of 2012," said QECH Hospital Director Dr Andrew Gonani in a written response to a questionnaire.


Gonani added that most of them have a confirmed diagnosis of the disease as detected by the blood culture based surveillance that the hospital conducts among adults and children inpatients. He said typhoid is a communicable disease that is spread by either eating contaminated food or drinking contaminated water, meaning that patients might have interacted with an environment where there is a breakdown in hygiene and sanitation.


Congo DR (Kasai-Occidental province)


Provincial Health Minister for Kasai Occidental, Nicolas Kanyonga, told Radio Okapi on 3 May 2013 that the number of deaths from typhoid fever went from 31 to 48 in 14 days. He also reported about 29 cases of intestinal perforation and 1092 cases of the disease.


Dr Edmond Mulamba, provincial medical examiner, said that the spread of the disease is favored by poor hygienic conditions and difficulties of drinking water in the area where most people consume water from rivers and springs.


India (Mumbai, Maharashtra)


According to doctors, cases of viral gastroenteritis and other waterborne diseases like typhoid have gone up in the past 2 weeks, indicating that Mumbaikars need to be careful about water contamination and avoid eating out.


The doctors blame roadside soft drinks as the major reason for the sudden rise in gastrointestinal illnesses. "While checking the patients' history, it was found that most of them drank roadside beverages like sherbet and fruit juice. I advise my patients to drink either boiled water or mineral water," added Dr Ballani.


Dr Hemant Thacker, consulting general physician of Breach Candy, said most of the patients he saw, had severe nausea and vomiting and less of loose motions. "Out of the 10 cases I got last week, 7 or 8 required hospitalisation but thankfully they are responding to the medicines," said Dr Thacker.


Dr Khusrav Bhajan, intensivist at PD Hinduja Hospital agreed that in the last few weeks there has been a surge in food poisoning cases and gastroenteritis out of which at least 20 percent require admission in ICU.


"We have seen renal failure because of excessive dehydration and toxicity," said Dr Bhajan.


The other waterborne disease that's hit people is typhoid. "Like gastroenteritis, there is also a surge in the number of typhoid cases. We are seeing many stubborn typhoid cases in which we have to try multiple drugs which prolongs treatment," added Dr Thacker.


Doctors said they are also getting cases of typhoid along with brain symptoms. "We have got 3 typhoid patients who have a swelling in the brain, which is not a common thing. Apart from the best possible antibiotics, we are also giving such patients steroids to recover," said Dr Pratit Samdhani, consultant physician at Jaslok Hospital.


Communicated by: ProMED-mail



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The content and opinions are neither pre-screened nor endorsed by the SASTM. The content should neither be interpreted nor quoted as inherently accurate or authoritative.

The information provided in SASTM Newsflashes is collected from various news sources, health agencies and government agencies. Although the information is believed to be accurate, any express or implied warranty as to its suitability for any purpose is categorically disclaimed. In particular, this information should not be construed to serve as medical advice for any individual. The health information provided is general in nature, and may not be appropriate for all persons. Medical advice may vary because of individual differences in such factors as health risks, current medical conditions and treatment, allergies, pregnancy and breast feeding, etc. In addition, global health risks are constantly evolving and changing. International travelers should consult a qualified physician for medical advice prior to departure.

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