Woman dies after con­tract­ing ty­phoid

Central Leader - - SITUATIONS VACANT - STAFF RE­PORTERS

Health authorities are be­ing crit­i­cised for wait­ing un­til after a woman died to no­tify the pub­lic about a ty­phoid out­break.

Fif­teen cases have now been con­firmed to be linked to the out­break, with two other prob­a­ble cases await­ing fur­ther tests.

The woman, from Auck­land’s Mt Roskill, died in Auck­land City Hos­pi­tal last Tues­day.

Auck­land Re­gional Pub­lic Health Ser­vice Clin­i­cal Di­rec­tor, Dr Ju­lia Peters, said the woman had se­ri­ous health is­sues and the ty­phoid in­fec­tion was an­other com­pli­cat­ing fac­tor.

The health ser­vice no­ti­fied the pub­lic of the out­break three days after her death, on Fri­day. Her fu­neral took place on Mon­day.

Peters said the ser­vice de­layed an­nounc­ing the death to en­able fu­neral ar­range­ments to be con­cluded.

‘‘We ex­tend our sym­pa­thy to the woman’s fam­ily and church com­mu­nity.’’

Health Min­is­ter Jonathan Coleman said there were ‘‘prob­a­bly some com­mu­ni­ca­tions is­sues’’ that the health ser­vice needed to take on board re­gard­ing the de­lay in re­leas­ing in­for­ma­tion.

‘‘They should be com­mu­ni­cat­ing very clearly with peo­ple on is­sues,’’ he said.

Labour’s health spokesman David Clark said he was con­cerned there had not been a pub­lic cam­paign to make sure peo­ple had the in­for­ma­tion they needed.

Labour’s Pa­cific Is­land Af­fairs spokesman Su’a Wil­liam Sio said he had not been told of the out­break by of­fi­cials, and in­stead was no­ti­fied by a mem­ber of the com­mu­nity.

Sio had ‘‘se­ri­ous con­cerns’’ about the lack of in­for­ma­tion pro­vided by authorities, he said.

Labour leader An­drew Lit­tle said mem­bers of the pub­lic were en­ti­tled to know about the out­break ear­lier than they had been.

‘‘If there is a fa­tal­ity as a re­sult, they should have told us.’’

Ty­phoid is for the most part brought in from over­seas by in­fected trav­ellers.

It in­fects 30 mil­lion glob­ally and is fa­tal in 10 -30 per cent of un­treated cases.

If there are wide­spread epi­demics over­seas, it’s usu­ally a re­sult of fae­ces in wa­ter sup­ply or street food.

The lat­est out­break has af­fected mem­bers of a Samoan church in Auck­land. It is not yet known what coun­try they were in when they con­tracted the dis­ease.

JA­SON OXENHAM/FAIR­FAX NZ

The woman was be­ing treated at Auck­land City Hos­pi­tal.

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