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7 Zimbabweans Contract Typhoid in Harare

FILE: Residences of Mabvuku fetch water from unproteacted sources in Harare, Zimbabwe, July 28, 2012.

Harare City Council health director Dr. Prosper Chonzi says local people should practice good hygiene to avoid contracting typhoid, which has once again resurfaced in some high density suburbs.

Chonzi said so far seven people are suspected to have contracted the disease. Waterborne diseases have been common in the country largely due to unsafe drinking water and poor hygiene.

Most high density and low density suburbs are now relying on boreholes and wells but Dr. Chonzi said some of the wells are contaminated due to the rains and fecal matter is now sipping into these water sources.

Some of the waterborne diseases that have affected the country in the past include an outbreak of cholera, which claimed the lives of close to 4,000 a few years ago.

"Typhoid is caused by infection with the bacterium Salmonella typhi. It is transmitted by contact with feces or urine of an infected person, usually through contaminated food or drink," said Dr. Chonzi.

"Within one to three weeks of exposure, a patient may exhibit symptoms such as high fever, headache, constipation, and diarrhea, rose-colored spots on the chest and enlarged liver or spleen. However, it is possible to be a carrier of typhoid without exhibiting symptoms," she added.

Dr. Chonzi urged those that may suspect to have typhoid or are exhibiting some symptoms to visit their nearest clinic or hospital.

Interview With Dr Prosper Chonzi
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