TYPHOID SPREADING IN FIJI

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SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, Aug. 14) – Five more students are suspected of having typhoid, taking the total number of student cases in Bua to 45 so far.

The students, who attend Ratu Leke Memorial Primary and Secondary schools in Wainunu, will be tested at the Wainunu Health Centre today.

They were part of the 300 students sent home on Friday after typhoid broke out at the school.

So far 11 students have been admitted to the Nabouwalu Hospital for suspected typhoid while 30 others are being reviewed.

School manager Eroni Tabakece said they were waiting for the headteacher and medical authorities to clear the school before they could re-open the school.

"The 30 students were given tablets and told to return on Monday for a review so they have not been cleared fully.''

Eight villages send their children to Ratu Luke Primary and Secondary.

Taolo Village headman Sireli Bukavoka said no teacher or doctor had come to warn them of the outbreak even though two of their children had been admitted since Friday.

Six other Taolo Village students who were also examined and released have been told to stay indoors.

Form Four student Viema Cabemaiwai, who was tested yesterday, said she was still feeling weak and had stomach and head aches.

Students who were to take part in the Milo Kaji rugby in Labasa at the end of this week have been told to go home because they will not be allowed to participate in the games.

Ratu Luke Primary assistant headteacher Josateki Rokotovitovi refused to comment yesterday.

Wainunu Medical officer Doctor Ilisapeci Viwa referred all queries to sub-divisional medical officer Doctor Marvin Ketenalagi, who could not be contacted.

Director North Health Services Doctor Ami Chandra said symptoms of typhoid were similar to 'flu and people should not rely on herbal medicine for a cure'.

"People with typhoid suffer from flu-like symptoms and are feverish with body pains, head aches and stomach aches," he said.

People with these symptoms, he said, should not prepare food because it could spread.

"Typhoid spreads easily during funerals and weddings because some carriers (who prepare the food) look fit, healthy and normal and that is the dangerous thing," Dr Chandra said.

"Those with typhoid carry the bacteria in their blood stream and intestinal tract and spread the infection directly to others through contaminated food and drinking water."

The reported cases of typhoid so far are:

Health chief executive officer Doctor Lepani Waqatakirewa warned people of the high risks in pre-cooked food sold on the streets.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Fiji Times: http://www.fijitimes.com/

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