Western Cape Health Department refuting claims of a typhoid fever outbreak in the province

The Western Cape Health Department is refuting claims of a typhoid fever outbreak in the province.

Social media posts doing the rounds claim that there is an outbreak of the disease, also known as the ‘entric fever’, in the Western Cape. The post claims that an alarming number of cases have been recorded in the Cape Town metro due to contaminated municipal water, or a common food source.

Typhoid fever is spread via the faeces of an infected person. Person to person transmission occurs when another person consumes food or water that has been contaminated by the faeces of an infected person, usually via unwashed hands.

The City of Cape Town’s Mayco member for Community Services and Health, Patricia van der Ross says the social media post are based on false information

The main problem with the post is that the data it claims to quote, reflects the total number of cases for the past 2 years and not new cases.

The mayco member urged people not to share the post as they cause unnecessary panic, adding that the City's tap water is safe to drink.

‘’As previously stated by the City all drinking water samples taken from the municipal supply tested at the City’s Scientific Services Laboratory in Athlone complied with the South African National Drinking Water Standard on Acute Health Determinants and pose no health risk to the public.’’

‘’Drinking water quality across the City is monitored regularly and according to the strict South African National Standard for Drinking Water, SANS:241 and no cases of typhoid fever has been linked to the municipal water supply,’’ added Van der Ross.

Van der Ross says in the current financial year, 15 cases have been notified to date, with four of these cases being diagnosed this month

‘’These cases are geographically spread across the City and do not appear to be linked to a common food or water source.’’

‘’The washing of hands is vitally important before any food preparation and after toilet use or contact with faeces or vomit to prevent multiple gastrointestinal infections. City Health inspects food premises on a regular basis as well as takes samples to ensure that hygiene practises are maintained at premises that sell food to the public,’’ she added.


Done By: Mitchum George


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