Byo on high typhoid alert
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.