The National Institute for Communicable Disease (NICD) spoke on Monday about the spread of false news on social media about the typhoid fever outbreak linked to contaminated municipal water.
Typhoid fever – also known as intestinal fever – is a bacterial infection that spreads throughout the body and can affect many organs.
“These reports allege that there are currently cases of intestinal fever in certain cities or counties caused by contaminated municipal water, or that the bacteria that cause intestinal fever have been identified in certain municipal water sources,” the report said. NICD said.
The NICD explained that the rumors are factually false and of bad taste, as they attract a lot of attention and cause needless concern and panic.
At least there were seven cases of typhoid fever reported in Gauteng, with more cluster outbreaks found in the Western Cape and Northwest, between December 2021 and February 2022.
However, the institute denied allegations of recent cases of intestinal fever in municipal areas due to water pollution.
“There is no evidence that recent cases of gut fever are linked to contaminated municipal water in any part of the country, and there is no evidence that the bacteria that cause gut fever have been recently identified in municipal water sources across the country,” NICD said.
How to protect yourself from typhoid fever
Washing hands with soap and water is especially important to curb typhoid fever. Wash your hands:
- Before, during and after preparing food;
- Before and after eating food;
- Before and after caring for someone at home who is sick (especially if they have diarrhea or vomiting);
- After using the toilet; and
- After changing diapers/diapers or cleaning up a child who has been to the toilet.
“If you are concerned about the quality of the water you use for drinking and cooking, it is recommended that you first treat the water by boiling it (put water in a clean container and let it sit for 1 minute). bring it to a boil) or treat it with household bleach (add 1 teaspoon of household bleach (with 5% chlorine) to 20-25 liters of water, mix well and let stand for at least 30 minutes before use),” the statement concluded.