Last Updated on 4 months by Publishing Team

PR 59/23

21st December 2023

MHMS CONFIRMS TYPHOID OUTBREAK IN LAU SETTLEMENT IN RA

The Ministry of Health and Medical Services wishes to inform the public of an outbreak of typhoid fever in Lau Settlement in Ra. 

There have been 6 cases of typhoid fever from three linked  households in this settlement reported from September to December this year, with 2 in September, 2 in November, and 2 in December. Three of the people with typhoid were admitted to Rakiraki hospital. One person has sadly died, while the remaining 5 have since recovered after treatment. 

Typhoid fever is a disease caused by Salmonella typhi bacteria that spreads from infected persons to others through fecal contamination of food or water. 

Response measures conducted: 

The Ministry Health and Medical Services has a team on the ground from the Ra Sub-divisional Outbreak Response Team actively responding to the situation. 

Response measures undertaken so far have included: 

Contact Tracing and followup: including identifying others who may have been exposed to ensure they receive appropriate monitoring and treatment. 

Community awareness : Educating the community about  symptoms of typhoid fever, modes of transmission and  the importance of good hygiene & sanitation practices to prevent the spread of diseases. 

House to house inspections:  assessing water, sanitation and hygiene status, conducting disinfection, supplying soap for hand washing. 

Direct supervision of mass gathering: Ministry officers directly supervised a funeral at the settlement to ensure safe food handling and other measures to prevent disease spread. 

Water sampling: water sources in the settlement were sampled and results are negative for contaminants. 

Response measures planned: 

The Ministry will be providing field latrines to address identified sanitation issues. 

There will also be a mass screening of the people in the settlement to identify cases. 

The Ministry is working to provide the typhoid conjugate vaccine (currently used in the Northern Division) to prevent further spread and cases in future in this settlement. 

Advice to the public 

The Ministry is advising against any non-essential travel to Lau Settlement in Ra, as a precaution to prevent further infections and the spread of typhoid to other parts of Fiji. 

While this outbreak is currently limited to this particular settlement in Ra,  with the festive season upon us, we are advising the public to prioritize good hygiene practices, including proper handwashing with soap and water before preparing or eating meals, as well as after using the toilet. 

We also advise the public to be aware of the symptoms of typhoid fever and to promptly seek medical attention at your nearest health facility if you experience any of the following :

  • High fever
  • Weakness
  • General discomfort (malaise)
  • Stomach pain
  • Diarrhoea
  • Headache
  • Loss of appetite
  • Persistent cough

Typhoid fever information sheet

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