A Townsville Hospital staff member is being treated for typhoid fever.
A Townsville Hospital staff member is being treated for typhoid fever.

Typhoid case confirmed in Queensland

A TOWNSVILLE Hospital staff member is being treated for a serious and rare disease.

Late yesterday afternoon, the Townsville Hospital and Health Service confirmed a staff member was treating a staff member for typhoid.

Townsville Hospital Public Health Unit director Steven Donohue said the staff member was in a stable condition.

"The Public Health Unit is undertaking contact tracing in accordance with national public health guidelines," he said.

As a result of patient confidentiality, Dr Donohue said the service was unable to comment specifically on this case.

Typhoid is not airborne which is why the risk to the community has been assessed as being low," he said.

Dr Donohue said people who had been in contact with patient were being identified and contacted by the hospital.

However, he said the risk had been assessed as low.

"Members of the community who have not been contacted do not need to take any action," Dr Donohue said.

"If identified contacts are concerned they should contact their local public health unit or general practitioner."

Typhoid is rare in Australia and infections are usually acquired overseas by people eating contaminated food or drinking contaminated water,

This year there number of notifiable reports of typhoid in Queensland is 17.

The average each year from 2013-17 was 12.

Typhoid is treated with antibiotics and most patients make a full recovery.

"Symptoms of typhoid fever can be mild or severe and include a prolonged fever and worsening abdominal pain, sweating, severe headaches, feeling generally unwell, diarrhoea or constipation and a lack of appetite and weight loss," Dr Donohue said.

The illness can be severe if untreated and lead to death.

Queensland Health said the majority of typhoid cases detected in the state come from returning travellers.

"All cases should be excluded from work, school, childcare and swimming pools until 48 hours after resolution of symptoms," their website reads.

"All cases should be advised not to cook for others until 48 hours after resolution of their symptoms."

People can be vaccinated against typhoid too by taking pills or having injections,

It is recommended that people are vaccinated before they travel.

Typhoid is a public health concern in developing countries and is prevalent throughout Asia, Africa and South America.

The staff member is being treated in isolation at the hospital.

TYPHOID SYMPTOMS:

- Prolonged fever

- worsening abdominal pain

- Sweating

- Severe headaches

- Diarrhoea

- Constipation

- Lack of appetite, weight loss

- Feeling generally unwell


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