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Advice to Pacific communities over the weekend

Advice to Pacific communities over the weekend

Source: Auckland Regional Public Health Service

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Auckland Regional Public Health Service (ARPHS) has assured members of Auckland’s Pacific community that the typhoid outbreak in Auckland is localised.

In communication that is being circulated through Auckland Pacific networks today, ARPHS has emphasised that there is no evidence that it has spread further in the Pacific community in Auckland. A very small number of people have been getting sick. This means the outbreak may not spread much more.

"We understand weekends, particularly Sundays, are an important time for gatherings for Pacific people and we are seeking to assure them that casual contact does not spread typhoid. The best approach is to encourage everyone to wash hands regularly and be careful with food preparation" says Public Health Physician, Dr William Rainger.

It has also been confirmed that a Samoan Assembly of God church congregation is at the centre of the outbreak of typhoid. They hold their services at Wesley Primary School in Mt Roskill. There is no significant risk to children who attend the school.

Hugging and kissing each other or casual contact does not spread typhoid. Typhoid is only spread by eating food or drink that is contaminated by the faeces or urine from a person who has the illness or may be a carrier of the bacteria.

It can be a serious illness and is potentially fatal but it can be well treated with antibiotics.

"Once people are effectively treated in hospital, the risk of them spreading the disease is significantly reduced. It can take a number of days of monitoring before they are fully cleared. Once cleared there is no risk of spreading" says Dr William Rainger.

The number of cases of typhoid in Auckland remains unchanged since yesterday. There are 18 confirmed cases, one probable case and a further two cases under investigation connected with this outbreak. Of these, there are three people currently in hospital as more patients have now been discharged.

Symptoms of typhoid include a high fever developing over several days, headaches, general weakness and muscle aches. Stomach pain and constipation are also common but some people get diarrhoea.

If people are worried, then they should visit their family doctor or call the nurses at Healthline on 0800 611 116. Healthline offers full translation services and operate 24 hours per day 7 days per week.

For typhoid information and resources including translations in Samoan, please visit the

Auckland Regional Public Health Website http://www.arphs.govt.nz/typhoid-response

ENDS


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