31 May Typhoid case spreads from Auckland to Palmerston North
A child has contracted typhoid as the deadly Auckland outbreak spreads south.
Health officials on Wednesday confirmed two people, a child and a young adult, had the infection on Tuesday.
A young adult was in Palmerston North Hospital with the disease, while the child was not in hospital.
There was a family link to the recent Auckland typhoid outbreak in April, in which one person died.
However, officials say there is no need for alarm from the public.
MidCentral District Health Board medical officer of health Dr Patrick O’Connor said the strain from the Palmerston North patient was identical to that from the Auckland cases, “strongly suggesting” this was the source of the infection.
The DHB on Wednesday refused to name the early childhood centre the child attends. A spokeswoman said the child was aged under 5, but would not give their exact age, saying the information might identify them.
“We will continue to work closely with the family and wider community to ensure that they receive the necessary information to keep themselves safe,” O’Connor said.
“We have been working with the centre today and will be phoning parents/caregivers shortly, and taking samples from the children and staff tomorrow.”
Everyone else who had contact with the child tested negative for typhoid.
O’Connor said the child was admitted last week with bacteraemia, a blood infection.
“Since admission to hospital, the [young adult] has been treated in isolation and infection control processes are in place to prevent the spread of this infection. This has minimised the risk to other patients and to hospital staff.
“Close contacts of the [young adult] were sampled over the weekend, with one contact [the child] found to be infected by the bacterium.
“While this person is well, they will be treated with antibiotics to eliminate the infection.”