The Minister of Health Joe Phaahla confirmed that his department will deploy Outbreak Response Teams in the Western Cape and Gauteng to address the typhoid outbreak.
The Western Cape reported a total of 64 cases in three different districts, Cape Town Metro health district, the Cape Winelands and the Garden Route, while the North West has reported only 18 cases.
According to Phaahla, the move has been to ensure that the current crop of cases are followed up and managed, however, he brushed off the rumours and fake news that the disease has contaminated drinking water.
“There have been misguided news that our municipal water is contaminated with this bacteria. This is totally untrue. What we want to emphasise is that there is no public risk in terms of contamination of drinking water,” Phaahla indicated.
The number of cases of typhoid fever in the country has been on the decline for the last few years.
The minister further mentioned that typhoid is endemic in South Africa which means that whenever there is some small breakout of typhoid there’s a problem with the sewer system when things are not properly managed.
“What the National Institute of Communicable Diseases has indicated, is that over the last three years there have been pockets of this disease being picked up.
“On average, there’s been less than 200 cases in the whole country in a year. In fact, last year there were less than 150 cases,” Phaahla said.
Meanwhile, Authorities in Western Cape say the recent typhoid fever cases reported in the province was interpreted incorrectly as new cases. The province’s health department indicated that the cases in the province were reported to be higher than in previous years as it was based on cumulative historical data.