Auckland typhoid cases increase again

The number of typhoid cases in Auckland has increased again, the Auckland Regional Public Health Service (ARPHS) says.

"As at 6 April 2017, there are 18 confirmed cases of typhoid in Auckland. There is also one probable case and a further two cases are under investigation. Of these, there are six people currently in hospital; some patients have now been discharged," the ARPHS said in a statement.

"More cases may come to light as a result of the work ARPHS is doing to trace those who have been in contact with people confirmed as having typhoid. Typhoid has a typical incubation period of 8-14 days but incubation can be up to 80 days. This means cases may emerge over the course of several weeks."

The illness has already claimed the life of one woman, and led to criticism of the ARPHS handling of the outbreak.

ARPHS under fire

The ARPHS on Wednesday came under fire for miscommunication from Health Minister Jonathan Coleman and a school principal.

Wesley Primary School principal Brenda Martin said in a statement she had learnt from Newshub that the woman who died from typhoid was a member of the Samoan Assembly of God, which meets at the school's hall in the weekend.

"This is despite an assurance yesterday from the Auckland Regional Public Health Service (ARPHS) that she was from a different group."

The Minister of Health isn't mincing his words

"No I'm very unhappy about that," Jonathan Coleman says.

"I've received a number of apologies but I certainly don't expect to find out about things on the TV news."

The Public Health Service admits it got it wrong, but says there's almost no risk of it spreading to the school.

"I think with the benefit of hindsight it would've been better to have talked to the school earlier. Has that actually put anyone at risk or impeded the control of the outbreak, almost certainly not," says Dr William Rainger.