Typhoid outbreak confirmed in Auckland

Ten people have been hospitalised after an outbreak of typhoid in Auckland, including children.

The Auckland Regional Public Health Service (ARPHS) has alerted the health sector to the outbreak and is tracing people who have been in contact with the confirmed cases.

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

Symptoms include:

  • a high fever developing over several days
  • headaches
  • general weakness and muscle aches.
  • stomach pain and constipation are also common
  • some people get diarrhoea.

Medical health officer Dr David Sinclair says large outbreaks are uncommon in New Zealand.

"The last fairly big one we had was in 2013, but we get people coming back from the tropics mainly who have typhoid," he told RadioLIVE Drive. "Roughly between twenty and thirty cases a year in general."

Mr Sinclair says he expects this is how the latest outbreak started.

"The most likely thing that's happened is somebody coming back and there's been some spread in their group."

Locations it has spread to include:

  • Mt Roskill
  • Blockhouse Bay
  • Manurewa

Dr Sinclair urges anyone with those symptoms feeling very unwell to see their doctor or an after-hours clinic.

What is typhoid?

  • typhoid is an infectious bacterial fever caused by Salmonella typhi
  • typhoid is spread primarily through water and food but can be spread person to person
  • good basic hand-washing is one of the best means of protecting yourself