Typhoid confirmed cause of death

A 14-year-old girl who died last month suffered from typhoid fever.

This was confirmed by Tagaloa Dr. Robert Thomsen, the A.C.E.O. of Health Service Performance and Quality Assurance – Medical and Allied Division.

 The deceased was suspected to have been killed by dengue fever.

 “The case of the 14-year-old was added to the list of typhoid cases, her case in the start was suspected of dengue like symptoms but after results came back from the laboratories, it was a positive typhoid,” Tagaloa said. 

“A similar case occurred in 2017 as well, of how it was earlier suspected of dengue but later proved to be typhoid. 

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Tagaloa added that typhoid is a disease caused by the bacteria Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi (or S. Typhi). 

“Symptoms include fever, marked headache, and malaise, and sometimes anorexia, abdominal pain, splenomegaly, constipation, diarrhoea, relative bradycardia, non-productive cough and rose spots on trunk - without treatment it can be fatal,” he said.

He added that typhoid is transmitted via the faecal-oral route. 

“Most cases are from drinking water and eating food contaminated with faeces and/or urine.

“Transmission by direct person to person contact is rare. Chronic carriers with poor hygiene practices/conditions can transmit typhoid by contaminating food. Risk foods include raw shellfish, fruit and vegetables, and contaminated water and ice. 

“To prevent typhoid: drink boiled or bottled water, and avoid uncooked foods, unless you have peeled or prepared peel them yourself. Boil shellfish. Ensure hot food is thoroughly cooked and eat hot. Wash hands with soap and water after going to the toilet and before eating.

“People infected with typhoid or who share a house with someone infected with typhoid, must not work if their work involves handling food or caring for children, patients or the elderly, and should not prepare food for others.”

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