Byo on high ty­phoid alert

Sunday News (Zimbabwe) - - Health/gender/national News - Ti­no­muda Chakanyuka Se­nior Re­porter

BU­L­AWAYO City Coun­cil is on high alert of a pos­si­ble out­break of ty­phoid fol­low­ing re­ports of an out­break of the dis­ease in Harare last week.

At least 17 cases of ty­phoid were recorded in the cap­i­tal city last week. BCC se­nior pub­lic re­la­tions of­fi­cer, Mrs Ne­sisa Mpofu, said the city was pre­pared to con­tain any oc­cur­rence of the wa­ter-borne dis­ease. She said Bu­l­awayo has had no record of any cases of ty­phoid in the past.

“The City of Bu­l­awayo has not recorded any cases of ty­phoid. We are how­ever, on high alert as we con­tinue to mon­i­tor wa­ter qual­ity to en­sure that it is safe for drink­ing,” she said.

Mrs Mpofu said the city has put in place an emer­gency pre­pared­ness plan to help tackle any pos­si­ble out­breaks of dis­eases.

She said the health de­liv­ery sys­tem was well geared to deal with any dis­ease out­breaks.

“In the event of a ty­phoid case, we have a ward set aside for such dis­eases at the in­fec­tious dis­eases hos­pi­tal Thorn­grove.

“To also pre­pare for such emer­gen­cies, the City of Bu­l­awayo crafted an Emer­gency Pre­pared­ness and Re­sponse Plan (EPRP) which out­lines the frame­work of deal­ing with such epi­demics should one arise in Bu­l­awayo and en­sures that the city is pre­pared for such emer­gen­cies,” said Mrs Mpofu.

The lo­cal au­thor­ity’s spokesper­son said the city was how­ever, un­likely to ex­pe­ri­ence any out­breaks of wa­ter-borne dis­eases as ma­jor­ity of res­i­dents use safe wa­ter sources. She said the lo­cal au­thor­ity was also car­ry­ing aware­ness cam­paigns within com­mu­ni­ties, dis­cour­ag­ing res­i­dents from us­ing wa­ter from un­safe sources.

“Our Health Pro­mo­tion of­fice is car­ry­ing out aware­ness cam­paigns within the com­mu­nity. It should be noted that most Bu­l­awayo res­i­dents use Mu­nic­i­pal wa­ter for potable use, and this wa­ter is safe. Res­i­dents are en­cour­aged to de­sist from us­ing wa­ter from un­safe sources of wa­ter. In the event of us­ing bore­hole wa­ter or wa­ter stored in con­tain­ers res­i­dents are en­cour­aged to boil be­fore use,” she said.

Mrs Mpofu also em­pha­sised on the need for res­i­dents to ob­serve high hy­gienic prac­tices to avoid out­breaks of dis­eases.

“We also con­tinue to en­cour­age res­i­dents to prac­tice good per­sonal hy­giene such as wash­ing hands after us­ing the toi­let, eat­ing food from rep­utable sources, en­sur­ing fruits and veg­eta­bles are washed be­fore con­sump­tion,” she said.

Signs and symp­toms of ty­phoid usu­ally ap­pear after one to three weeks after exposure and may be mild or se­vere.

The symp­toms in­clude poor ap­petite, ab­dom­i­nal pain, headaches, gen­er­alised aches and pains, fever, in­testi­nal bleed­ing or per­fo­ra­tion (after two to three weeks of the dis­ease), di­ar­rhoea or con­sti­pa­tion, en­larged spleen or liver and rose coloured spot on chest.

The dis­ease is pri­mar­ily trans­mit­ted through the feaco oral route (the fae­ces of the in­fected per­son in­di­rectly con­tam­i­nat­ing food or wa­ter). Drink­ing wa­ter that has come into con­tact with sewage can also cause the dis­ease.

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