Notes from the Field: Typhoid Fever Outbreak — Harare, Zimbabwe, October 2017–February 2018


Hammad S. N’cho, Kudzai P.E. Masunda, Innocent Mukeredzi, Portia Manangazira, Emmaculate Govore, Clemence Duri, Rachael D. Aubert, Haley Martin, Elizabeth Gonese, Michael Vere, Beth A. Tippett Barr, Shirish Balachandra, Jonathan Strysko, William W. Davis, Grace D. Appiah, Eric Mintz


On October 16, 2017, the Harare City Health Department (HCHD) in Zimbabwe identified a suspected typhoid fever (typhoid) case in a resident of Harare’s Mbare suburb. Typhoid is a potentially fatal illness caused by Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi (Typhi). HCHD initiated an investigation and identified a cluster of 17 suspected typhoid cases, defined as the occurrence of fever and at least one of the following symptoms: headache, malaise, abdominal discomfort, vomiting, diarrhea, cough, or constipation. A confirmed case had Typhi isolated from blood, stool, or rectal swab culture.

As of February 24, 2018 (the most recent publicly available data), 3,187 suspected and 191 confirmed cases were identified, with no reported deaths among confirmed cases. Among suspected cases, 1,696 (53%) patients were male, and median age was 17 years (range = 1 month–90 years). In addition to clusters in Mbare, clusters were detected in Harare’s western suburbs, including Kuwadzana, where high rates of ciprofloxacin-resistant Typhi were identified.

Click here to view the article, published in CDC MMWR.