Typhoid confirmed in Palmerston North

  • 24/05/2017
It's believed the child has family connections to the Auckland outbreak (Getty file)

Medical staff in Palmerston North are moving quickly to contact anyone who was in proximity with a child who has a confirmed case of typhoid.

Medical Officer of Health Dr Patrick O'Connor says a patient was admitted to the hospital with a blood infection last week, with results now confirming it is the disease.

It is believed the child has family connections to the Auckland outbreak of typhoid in April, which afflicted 18 people and caused one woman to die due to complications from it.

"Since admission to hospital, the patient has been treated in isolation, and infection control processes are in place to prevent the spread of this infection," Dr O'Connor said.

"This has minimised the risk to other patients and to hospital staff."

People in close contact with the Palmerston North child were sampled over the weekend and one is being treated with antibiotics.

Dr O'Connor said the child attended an early childhood centre and medical staff will work with the centre on Wednesday and Thursday to take samples from children and staff.

"It is important to understand that typhoid is spread by eating or drinking water that is contaminated with faeces or urine from a person who has the illness, or who may be a carrier of the bacteria.

"Casual social contact such as visiting a person in hospital, or hugging and kissing them is not a significant risk to people," he said.

Typhoid symptoms include a high fever developing over several days, as well as headaches, general weakness and muscle aches. Stomach pain and constipation are also common but some people get diarrhoea.