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Follows epidemic earlier this year

By Sowani Koroi SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, Sept. 23, 2010) – Fiji is experiencing a fresh outbreak of typhoid following an initial alert at the beginning of the year, with 400 fresh cases reported across the country says national adviser for communicable diseases Dr Eric Rafai.

Rafai told FijiLive there were around 400 reported cases of typhoid in Fiji following the outbreak earlier this year, compared to 205 cases reported in the same period last year.

He said that one of the many reasons for the increase in the figures was because the ministry’s surveillance and public awareness campaign against typhoid fever had increased, resulting in more cases being reported.

The disease spreads through contaminated food or water and occasionally through direct contact with someone who is infected with the virus.

Rafai added that in Fiji, where typhoid is endemic, most cases result from contaminated drinking water and poor sanitation and generally it is the younger age group that falls victim.

The Health Ministry has been issuing precautions on how to avoid getting typhoid such as washing your hands with soap before eating, before preparing a meal and after visiting a toilet.

While drinking water should be boiled, water from rivers or creeks should not be consumed at all.

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