Typhoid Fever Outbreak Linked to Rainbow Gathering in Northern Italy

Typhoid Fever Outbreak Linked to Rainbow Gathering in Northern Italy
November 16, 2017 Editorial Reszon

On 10 September 2017, French authorities reported to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) three cases of typhoid fever linked to the European Rainbow gathering that took place in Tramonti di Sopra, Friuli-Venezia Giulia region, Italy, from 23 July to 21 August 2017. On 12 September, German authorities reported a case linked to this Rainbow gathering. Additional cases are possibly associated with this event. 1

Typhoid and paratyphoid fevers are systemic diseases caused by the bacteria Salmonella typhi and Salmonella paratyphi, respectively. Humans are the only reservoir for Salmonella typhi (which is the most serious), whereas Salmonella paratyphi also has animal reservoirs. Humans can carry the bacteria in the gut for very long times (chronic carriers), and transmit the bacteria to other persons (either directly or via food or water contamination). 2

After 1-2 weeks incubation period, a disease characterised by high fever, malaise, cough, rash and enlarged spleen develops. Diarrhoea may be present at some stage. When Salmonella typhi is the cause, intestinal perforation and haemorrhage may occur. Salmonella typhi blood stream infection can also cause infection in all organs. Antibiotic therapy has radically changed the prognosis of typhoid, which, untreated, has a 10% death rate. Preventive measures include good personal and food hygiene. An effective vaccine is also available. 2

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  1. ECDC (15 September 2017) Typhoid fever outbreak linked to Rainbow gathering in Northern Italy. Accessed 16 Nov 2017
  2. ECDC (2017). Facts about typhoid and paratyphoid fever. Accessed 16 Nov 2017

Typhoid Fever Outbreak Linked to Rainbow Gathering in Northern Italy

Salmonella typhi which cause Typhoid fever

(Photo credit: ECDC)


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