Eleven cases of typhoid confirmed in Tonga

Eleven people in Tonga have been hospitalised with typhoid in an outbreak which began since January.

Radio New Zealand said Tonga have temporarily banned kava drinking in public halls to control an outbreak of typhoid.

The Ministry of Health has also imposed a month long ban on making food for public gatherings such as funerals, the radio said.

The Chief Health Inspector, Sela Fa’u, told Tonga Broadcasting five of those with typhoid were from one village, Veitongo.

Sela Fa’u said several factors had constrained the ministry in controlling the spread of the disease including people providing inaccurate information for lab tests.


Typhoid is an illness caused by infection with a specific bacteria called Salmonella typhi.

It is found in the faeces of infected persons and spreads to others through faecal contamination of food and water.

This occurs in situations where there is poor hygiene related to food preparation, where there is poor sanitation with inadequate ablution facilities and where drinking water is drawn from sources like wells and streams.

The symptoms mimic those of other infectious diseases. Symptoms include fever, headache, abdominal pain, cold shivers, hot sweats and loss of appetite.

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