Typhoid fever – Singapore

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Officials in Singapore are investigating if 2 typhoid fever cases are linked to eating at a food outlet. The Ministry of Health (MOH) and Singapore Food Agency (SFA) said 2 people fell ill after having food prepared by Hooi Kee Eating House on Clemenceau Avenue in Singapore Shopping Centre. Both people ate at this site several times between [2 Jan 2021 and 18 Jan 2021]. They were later admitted to hospital. One has since been discharged and the other is in stable condition in hospital. SFA has suspended food operations at Hooi Kee Eating House until further notice.

The agency advised people who have consumed food from Hooi Kee Eating House and then developed prolonged fever to consult their general practitioner and tell the doctor their food history.

All food handlers working in the implicated premises must re-attend and pass a food safety course and test negative for foodborne pathogens, before they can go back to work. The appointed food hygiene officer(s) are also required to re-attend and pass a food and beverage hygiene audit course before they can resume this work. The outlet has been told to clean and sanitize the premises, including equipment and utensils.

Photo: Salmonella enterica serovar typhimurium – Cultured in medium

Typhoid fever, so-called enteric fever caused by Salmonella enterica serotype Typhi, has a totally different presentation from that of the commoner kinds of salmonellosis.

It is usually spread by contaminated food or water. Typhoid fever is not a zoonosis like the more commonly seen types of salmonellosis.

Vomiting and diarrhea are typically absent but constipation is frequently reported.

The word typhoid (as in typhus-like) reflects the similarity of the louse-borne rickettsial disease epidemic typhus and that of typhoid fever; in fact, in some areas, typhoid fever is still referred to as abdominal typhus.

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