Authorities in Western Cape says the recent typhoid fever cases reported in the province was interpreted incorrectly as new cases.
According to a statement by the Western Cape’s health department, the cases in the province were reported to be higher than in previous years as it was based on cumulative historical data.
“Since 2020 to date, three clusters were identified in the province which has now been reported by the NICD. In these clusters
14 cases were recorded in the Metro with the first case reported in November 2020 and the most recent case in January 2022,
11 in Cape Winelands with the first case reported in July 2020.
“The most recent case in May 2021, and 12 in the Garden Route with the first case reported in August 2020 and the most recent case in December 2021. It is important to note that these reported clusters are based on historical data as per 2020 and 2021 data,” the department said
The department further indicated that whole-genome sequencing of typhoid fever isolates, as part of the health responses, has identified specific strains responsible for separate clusters in these districts, confirming that in those districts cases are linked and there is an ongoing local transmission.
“These local outbreaks of enteric fever are amidst an annual surge of diarrhoea, which occurs annually at this time. Cases of enteric are fever being managed by the department of health in specific areas, and we urge the public to be assured that there is no cause for panic,” the department reiterated.
In the meantime, residents who are experiencing typhoid fever may have mild or severe symptoms, which include:
- Feeling unwell in general
- Abdominal pain or cramps
- Nausea and vomiting
- Constipation or diarrhea
- A rash on the stomach
- Dry cough
The symptoms may appear as early as three days to as late as 60 days after you were exposed to the bacteria. If you experience symptoms, seek health care immediately.
Residents that have any concerns related to the quality of the water can also report them via the following channels to arrange for a sample to be taken:
Call 0860 103 089
Email [email protected]
SMS 31373 (Maximum 160 characters)
Visit a City walk-in centre (see www.capetown.gov.za/facilities find the one closest to you)