SUVA, July 16 (Xinhua) -- Two villages in the northern part of Fiji have been put under a lockdown due to the outbreak of typhoid fever, a fatal infection caused by the bacterium Salmonella typhi.
Fiji's Health Ministry confirmed that six typhoid fever cases have been reported in Waivunia village and Natua village in the northern island of Vanua Levu, which is Fiji's second largest island, according to a Fiji Broadcasting Corporation report on Saturday.
The villagers testing positive are now isolated. The testing of water supply has been conducted and contact tracing, including blood sampling for primary contacts, is continuing.
Social gatherings in the two villages have been banned and movement restrictions ordered by the authorities. The health ministry is also working in collaboration with Fiji Police Force and Cakaudrove Provincial Council to prevent further spread of the disease in the two villages.
The ministry urged the public to report to their nearest health center or medical facility if they are experiencing a prolonged fever, fatigue, headache, nausea, abdominal pain, constipation, or diarrhea.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), typhoid fever is usually spread through contaminated food or water. An estimated 11 million to 20 million people get sick from typhoid and between 128,000 and 161,000 people die from it every year worldwide.
Fiji has recorded more than 110 cases of typhoid fever with five deaths so far this year.
Meanwhile, the South Pacific island nation has reported more than 1,000 leptospirosis cases with 36 deaths, as well as more than 1,300 dengue fever cases so far this year.
The Fijian health ministry has attributed the surge of typhoid, leptospirosis and dengue fever to wet weather in the country this year. ■