Uganda Announces Typhoid Fever Outbreak April 6, 2015 By Will Sowards Leave a Comment The Ugandan government has reported over 4,000 typhoid cases to the World Health Organization since the beginning of 2015. The outbreak began in Kampala City and has since spread to neighboring districts. Typhoid fever is a bacterial disease transmitted through contaminated food or water and can cause mild to severe symptoms, sometimes even death. Luckily, there have only been a few confirmed deaths from the Ugandan outbreak. According to the WHO, the main cause of contamination has been water sources in the downtown district of Kampala. As of now, the majority of those infected have been men between the ages of 20 and 39, mostly in the working population. The WHO made special note that some of these individuals may be working in the food services sector, leading to a potentially greater spread throughout the city and the region at large. “Food and juice vendors and cooks are also affected,” a WHO release said. “Hence the potential for wide spread of the disease.” What is worrying for many, especially some health officials in the African country, is the potential for other disease outbreaks to occur, specifically cholera. Dr. Anthony Mbonye, the director of health services at Uganda’s Ministry of Health, in an interview with the Associated Press noted that intense rains that commonly occur during this time of year could lead to an outbreak of both typhoid and cholera, making treatment for both diseases even more difficult and potentially leading to a health crisis. Typhoid fever can be treated with antibiotics, but, in a developing nation like Uganda, this treatment is difficult. The price of antibiotics can be a burden to many who need them, and it is challenging to get the manpower and equipment in place to effectively remedy the source of the infections in the short term by cleaning the water supply. So far, neither the WHO nor the Centers for Disease Control have made any additional restrictions for travel to Uganda, but both groups continue to recommend receiving a typhoid vaccination before traveling to the country. To find out more about typhoid and the vaccination against it, visit our typhoid portal. Will news of this outbreak change your African travel plans? Let us know on Facebook, Twitter or below in the comments section.