Emergencies preparedness, response

Typhoid fever in Democratic Republic of the Congo

15 December 2004

WHO has received reports of a significant, ongoing outbreak of typhoid fever in Kinshasa. The cases have occurred in the suburbs of Kimbanseke, Kikimi, Masina and Ndjili which had already been affected by an important outbreak of E.coli in May 2004.

As of 13 December 2004, a total of 13 400 cases were reported. Between 1 October and 10 December 2004, 615 severe cases with peritonitis, with or without perforation, including 134 deaths (case fatality rate, 21.8%) have occurred. 5 out of 32 samples tested positive for S. Typhi.

Very poor sanitary conditions and a lack of drinking water have been reported in these areas. A crisis committee has been established to contain the outbreak and is carrying out health education activities and distributing medicine.