A TYPHOID fever scare has hit parts of Harare where 18 new suspected cases were recorded over the past week.
According to the latest disease surveillance report released by the Ministry of Health and Child Care, the outbreak was also recorded in Mashonaland and Manicaland provinces.
Typhoid fever is a bacterial disease caused by Salmonella typhi.
It is transmitted through the ingestion of food or water contaminated with human waste from an infected person.
Symptoms usually develop from about three weeks after exposure and may be mild or severe. They include high fever, malaise, headache, constipation or diarrhoea, rose-coloured spots on the chest and enlarged spleen and liver. Healthy carrier state may follow acute illness.
The typhoid outbreak comes at a time Harare residents have had erratic water supplies and poor quality tap water.
Most research findings have condemned the quality of water supplied by Harare City Council although council officials have insisted that the water had passed World Health Organisation Standards.
The report also said there has been an increase in diarrhoea-related deaths with 25 under-five children succumbing to rota-virus infection within a week.
“Twenty-five diarrhoea deaths were reported in which most cases are attributed to rotavirus infection mostly in under-fives,” the report reads.
Lately, the government has scaled up its rotavirus vaccinations to curb the outbreak especially among children aged between six and 10 weeks.