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Typhoid in Auckland

Written By: - Date published: 3:48 pm, April 4th, 2017 - 76 comments
Categories: health, poverty - Tags: , , , ,

The typhoid outbreak in Auckland is spreading, and has claimed a life:

Woman dies in Auckland after contracting typhoid, 15 cases now confirmed

Health authorities are being slammed after waiting until after a woman died to notify the public about a typhoid outbreak.

Fifteen cases have now been confirmed to be linked to the outbreak, with two other probable cases awaiting further tests.

The woman, from Auckland’s Mt Roskill, died in Auckland City Hospital last Tuesday.

Health Minister Jonathan Coleman said there were “probably some communications issues” that the health service needed to take on board regarding the delay in releasing information. “I think they should be communicating very clearly with people on issues,” he said. …

Typhoid is a disease of poor sanitation and contamination, it is exacerbated by overcrowding, and usually associated with poor / “developing” countries. Stuff has a bit of basic information up here: The causes, symptoms and cures of typhoid fever

Now would be a good time to reflect on NZ’s generally poor record on child poverty and disease. From 2011:

Shock look at NZ’s child poverty

More than 100 New Zealand children who died last year would probably have survived had they lived in Japan, Sweden or the Czech Republic, a new documentary shows.

In Inside Child Poverty: A Special Report, set to air this week, Wellington documentary maker Bryan Bruce shows a Swedish doctor footage of sick, scab-ridden schoolchildren suffering from preventable diseases in Porirua and asks if he saw similar situations in his country.

The doctor shakes his head: “In the 70s, maybe.”

Last year, more than 25,000 children were admitted to hospital for respiratory infections. Doctors routinely treat cases of rheumatic fever and scabies – diseases now rare in Europe.

The reason behind these preventable diseases were appalling rates of child poverty that New Zealand could not afford to ignore, Mr Bruce said. …

76 comments on “Typhoid in Auckland”

  1. srylands 1

    Or people could learn to regularly wash their hands with soap and water. This outbreak has nothing to do with poverty. Soap is cheap..

    • Draco T Bastard 1.1

      Actually, soap is really bloody expensive.

      And you should also read:

      The best protection against it is to wash your hands after going to the bathroom. And to avoid fresh produce from areas known to have cases of typhoid. Informal water sources for drinking should be avoided, or alternatively the water should be boiled before drinking.

      My bold.

      So, how much food has been imported from such places?

    • Tricldrown 1.2

      Overcrowding poor housing poor access to healthcare.
      Not looking after our Pacific Island neighbouring countries.

    • How much do you pay for soap, Srylands?

      I’m genuinely curious.

      • Richard McGrath 1.3.1

        He could be paying as little as 63c a bar, see above.

        • Sabine 1.3.1.1

          http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/91179330/the-causes-symptoms-and-cures-of-typhoid-fever

          ” Typhoid is an illness caused by infection with a specific bacteria called Salmonella typhi. It has its origins in humans, not animals. 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 informal water sources.” Quote end.

          fuck for all you know, she – the women from Mt. Roskill picked it up at a down town McDonald/Columbus Cafe, or any other fast food / foodie, cause the one who did not wash their hands is the poorly trained, poorly paid staff that has a 5 min toilet break ever 3 hours.

          Blaming the victim. Seriously you should be fucking ashamed of yourself.

          as for soap being cheap, if you don’t have 5 bucks its not cheap.

          • Richard McGrath 1.3.1.1.1

            Who the hell is blaming the victim? And exactly what is it you suggesting I should be ashamed about?

            I have previously pointed to links that confirm typhoid is spread by people who excrete the organism, and sometimes these bugs end up contaminating food. Are you suggesting I should I be ashamed of that?

            • Sabine 1.3.1.1.1.1

              your pointing out how much soap costs in regards to a mention of poverty and over crowding.

              fact is, that both poverty and over crowding leads to sanitary issues that go beyond the price of soap.

              fact is also that in a world of processed food, you actually have no – none – idea what you eat and how what you eat was processed. All you have is the firm believe that our food hygiene regulations work and that people working in the idustry a. adhere to food safety regulations/processes and that b. bosses provide training, materials such as gloves, and above all functioning toilets and enough time to use these safely including handwashing.

              So, one pointing out that poverty might be an issue is correct, your pointing out that poverty is not a reason to buy soap, etc is victim blaming.

              Me i just pointed out the myriad of ways in which you or i for that matter could die of food poisoning, or thypoid with the cleanest hands on the planet.

              bye now.

              • McFlock

                and then you wash your store-bought lettuce in tap water that turns out to come from a shit-contaminated wellhead. Sometimes you just can’t win.

              • inspider

                This really looks like nothing to do with deprivation in NZ. It looks like a small PI community church have shared some food and one of the preparers has infected the others. That’s why there has been no general health alert – if it was in pre-prepared food they would be tracking all the food sources and closing factories.

                Historic case data shouws that ~75% OF typhoid cases in NZ are directly linked to people from Asia or the Islands getting infected there and bringing it back to NZ. Given the sick people are PIs, it’s likely that the infectious person brought the disease back from the islands or had close contact with someone who did. It likely could have been totally avoided through basic hygiene.

        • Actually I was interested specifically in what Srylands considers to be cheap, not how cheaply soap can be bought when buying in bulk.

      • Tricldrown 1.3.2

        He uses whitewash!

    • Halfcrown 1.4

      “Or people could learn to regularly wash their hands with soap and water. This outbreak has nothing to do with poverty. Soap is cheap..”

      Yeah agree with you there like in Britain in the 20/30’s two of the biggest scourges were TB and Ricketts. It was not caused by poverty, and poor living conditions, it was a case of the ones with TB should have stopped breathing and those with Rickets as a lot of right wing fuckwits are always saying, “they should have got out a bit more” ie in the sun. sarc/

      • Richard McGrath 1.4.1

        Citations?

        • Halfcrown 1.4.1.1

          Get you mind around this lot, also I am not going to do your job Google it yourself there is plenty of evidence to read.

          From Secret Royal History by Ken Bayliss

          “In Britain the majority of the population lived frugally. Many lived so frugally that volunteer soup kitchens were set up so they had at least one good meal a day. Throughout the 1920’s and 1930’s grinding poverty marked the average citizens life Rickets TB malnutrition, unemployment and poor housing were an everyday fact of life for Mr and Mrs Average and their children.”

          Ideology and disease identity: the politics of rickets, 1929–1982

          http://mh.bmj.com/content/medhum/40/1/3.full.pdf

          “ Many medical experts concurred broadly with Ministry of Health optimism; for instance, royal physician Thomas Jeeves Horder insisted in 1937 that rickets was ‘fast dying out.’ 17 However, studies reporting that over 80% of children in London and Durham showed symptoms of the condition contrasted sharply with the rosy official picture, attracting commentary in the press and Parliament.”

          Typical tory government ignore the facts. Just like the National government we have now.

    • Venezia 1.5

      Sounds like this outbreak has been linked to food according to Public health spokesperson on Radio NZ national.

    • Richard McGrath 1.6

      Of course, it’s the person doing the cooking that needs to wash their hands, more than the person doing the eating needs to do the same. Chlorination of drinking (and presumably cooking) water helps, as does vaccination.

      • Sabine 1.6.1

        actually it is the person that cooking?
        or is it is the person handling the ‘food’ this can be at any stage of food preparation.

        i.e. the pickers of your fruit in the fields, do they have adequate hygiene facilities or do they shit and piss where they pick for lack of porta loos? this is a common issue in the US where many e-coli out breaks have been traced back to the beginning of the ‘food preparation’.

        next, correct packaging of food. A lot of food will be handled in packing and canning operations? can you assure that people a. have a long enough toilet break to not only use the bathrooms, but also wash hands, disinfect hands and then put on a new pair of gloves?

        next, food prep in public kitchens, aka restaurants, same as above. Did the guy unpacking the meat for your burgers wash his hands? the guy washing the salad from the plastic back? And so on and so on.

        so to just simply state that it is the ‘cooking’ of food which is dangerous to me just shows how little you understand about ‘cooking ‘food.

        next, and i like this one a lot, most plastic packed salads are ‘washed’. You might hope to god that that water used to wash the salad is not infected. But then don’t ask me, ask the good people of Havelock North, who presumably washed their hands with soap, even.

        a few samples of out food contamination that involved no or very little cooking by the person who got sick.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_foodborne_illness_outbreaks_in_the_United_States

        • Richard McGrath 1.6.1.1

          It’s both – you’re right. Food (and drinking water) can be contaminated at any point in the pathway leading to human consumption.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 1.6.1.1.1

            Oh noes! Imagine if we had some sort of central body that could monitor food hygiene standards at a sufficient level to reduce the likelihood of this happening to near zero!

            Perhaps the market will come up with one 😆

    • One Anonymous Bloke 1.7

      Why didn’t the market teach them? Why oh why?

  2. saveNZ 2

    Good post. However a women died, it’s not just kids, it’s all people that are affected by this one.

    This is not just linked to poverty – it’s linked to a total break down in our services and quality of life in this country.

    Havelock North people were not poor.

    Let’s ‘mainstream’ our perceptions of this disease outbreak past the tired phrase ‘child poverty’. It’s used so often now, there’s becoming fatigue from over use of the word, child poverty. Child poverty is important, yes, but if you hear it 900 times per day it loses it’s power.

    This is election year, link the events to real voters… i.e. adults dying now from Typhoid after 9 years of Nat rule.

    Havelock North people dying from contaminated water.

    Who’s next to die of disease, if these imbeciles get in power another term?

    At that point we won’t even have a functioning health system so that’s another issue.

  3. inspider 3

    Typhoid saw its strongest increase from 1999 (10 cases) to 2007 (nearly 50 cases) does that mean there wasn’t a caring government in power during that time committed to fighting diseases of poverty?

    It’s really a disease linked to poverty elsewhere. Most cases involve international travel (something not generally linked to poverty).

    [put up a link or a reference. I’m getting sick of having to ask for this. – weka]

    • Draco T Bastard 3.1

      [citation needed]

        • weka 3.1.1.1

          thanks.

        • weka 3.1.1.2

          I can’t see the 1999 figures. Do you know why they don’t have earlier ones?

          • inspider 3.1.1.2.1

            Sorry i don’t but If you open one of the reports you can see graphs with data going back to 1997 for most diseases. That seems to be their baseline but I don’t know the reason

            • weka 3.1.1.2.1.1

              Your argument would be move convincing if we could see the numbers/rate by decade going back several decades before the 80s.

        • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1.3

          https://surv.esr.cri.nz/PDF_surveillance/AnnualRpt/AnnualSurv/2015/2015AnnualReportFinal.pdf

          Typhoid fever
          In 2015, 43 cases of typhoid fever were notified compared with 42 cases in 2014. The 2015 notification rate (0.9 per 100,000) was the same
          as the 2014 rate. Figure 36 shows an increasing trend in the number of typhoid fever notifications from 1997 to 2015. From 2008 to 2015 the number of notified cases per year has ranged from 29 to 50.

          So, yep, increasing numbers reported.

          does that mean there wasn’t a caring government in power during that time committed to fighting diseases of poverty?

          No, it’s probably more to do with immigration, transient populations and imported food from nations that have typhoid fever.

          • inspider 3.1.1.3.1

            re your last point

            that demonstrates why it is silly for Anthony Robins to be making politics of this incident.

          • Tricldrown 3.1.1.3.2

            This case is home grown and not surprising when you have overcrowding .
            People bunked up in garage’s with no running water or toilet facilities.
            Paying $450+ a week for a garage .
            This govt doesn’t take responsibility for anything.
            No housing crises.

      • Richard McGrath 3.1.2

        Here’s a citation:

        https://www.cdc.gov/typhoid-fever/

        “Typhoid fever is a life-threatening illness caused by the bacterium Salmonella Typhi. An estimated 5,700 cases occur each year in the United States. Most cases (up to 75%) are acquired while traveling internationally.”

    • bwaghorn 3.2

      oh labour did it to , that’s ok then let’s hope it turns into a big out break

  4. stunned mullet 4

    What drivel.

    This is an unfortunate case of Typhoid coming into NZ via a person returning from the Pacific Islands and then infecting their local chapter of AoG.

    NZ has an excellent health system and the ongoing efforts to slag it off for political purposes are rather pathetic and transparent.

    • Tricldrown 4.1

      So why has this spread using up valuable resource’s
      Stunned Mullet health funding has been reduced per capita under this govt.
      To make the books look good.

    • Halfcrown 4.2

      “NZ has an excellent health system and the ongoing efforts to slag it off for political purposes are rather pathetic and transparent.”

      That is also a load of fucking drivel. Tell me enlightened one if we have such a wuuunderful health system why is it certain medical procedures like cataract surgery are available or not depending on where you live.
      Greta fucking system that eh mate your affordability of health care is determined by where you live.

      • stunned mullet 4.2.1

        Cataract surgery is available throughout the country.

        ..and stop calling me Greta..

        • Halfcrown 4.2.1.1

          “..and stop calling me Greta..”

          Ha I like it.

          Cataract surgery is available throughout the country. Yes I agree but you can get it done by the public health service or have to pay for it yourself depending where you live.

          • Antoine 4.2.1.1.1

            Does sound like funding a few more cataract surgeries would be sensible

            • Richard McGrath 4.2.1.1.1.1

              Off you go then, fund just one person’s operation out of your own pocket. That’ll be about $4k. Let us know when you’ve done it.

              http://boweneye.co.nz/bowen-eye-news/cost-cataract-surgery-new-zealand

              • Antoine

                You rwnjs are all the same, get some compassion

              • Halfcrown

                “Off you go then, fund just one person’s operation out of your own pocket. That’ll be about $4k. Let us know when you’ve done it.”

                I have a better idea
                Stop wasting money on flag referendums, stop corporate welfare to the likes of Warners and overhaul the tax system so Google, Amazon and a few others pay their fair share.

                • Richard McGrath

                  Agree with most of that. Reform of the tax system should be a move toward a low flat income tax initially which could hopefully be phased out over time.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    Yes, because people paying no tax worked out so well in Greece.

                    • Foreign waka

                      Well put. And the rich had fair warnings (more than 1 year) to get their funds out of the country before the proverbial did hit the fan.

                    • Richard McGrath

                      Greece has a progressive income tax structure, what are you talking about? Main problem in Greece was the profligate government spending – paying teachers a pension at 50, etc.

              • McFlock

                duh.
                Taxes. That’s why we pay them.

                • Richard McGrath

                  No we don’t. Taxation is demanding money with threats, regardless of what the money thus obtained is used for. It’s legalised extortion. We pay taxes out of fear.

                  • McFlock

                    No. You pay taxes out of fear, because you’re a jerk who begrudges paying his fair share for living in this society.

                    I pay my taxes to fund public goods, because I recognise that individually and collectively we’re better off doing it that way than expecting that those who succeed in a free market model will be motivated by anything other than immediate self interest.

          • weka 4.2.1.1.2

            +1 it’s available, just not when you need it.

            • Sabine 4.2.1.1.2.1

              its this thing of having ‘access’ to Health Care. Not getting health care, not having health care, but ‘access’.

    • Foreign waka 4.3

      stunned mullet – I cannot really agree with you. Yes, there are great nurses and support personal but what is really important is a good diagnostic. This is pivotal to any outcome. Unfortunately, being good at that is not just a science but also an art. A doctor must have time to contemplate what is going on but with the shortage of health professionals just allows for a “tongue out, ear check, temperature measured – panadol and bed rest recommended ($ 45-50 bucks please). Naturally, many will self diagnose and panadol is available at the supermarket. Couple this with the immunity against antibiotics, new epidemics are just around the corner and surely will not be picked up in time.
      It also would be possible that the latest problems with drinking water in Auckland (not sure about the area most affected) could have played a role. Which incidentally is another important issue to public health, if not the most important.
      The health system itself is not that good. However, the professionals working in it are and doing their best with limited resources.

  5. inspider 5

    No, we regularly get 40 to 50 cases a year, sometimes with multiple linked cases. They are nearly always linked to travellers returning from Asia or the PIs. Just like 99.2% of dengue cases are linked to travel. It has nothing to do with the adequacy of the nz health system

    • Tricldrown 5.1

      Denge can only be spread by a certain type of mosquito.
      Typhoid is much easier spread through different vectors.

      • Richard McGrath 5.1.1

        The term ‘vector’ is generally used in medical nomenclature to denote an insect carrier of infection. In that sense, typhoid fever is not a vector-borne disease. It is generally spread by the faecal-oral route. That’s right, by eating the shit of someone who has recently had, or currently has, typhoid fever – usually when a cook handles raw food ingredients with their shitty hands. Mosquitoes and other insects have a negligible role in promulgation of this disease.

        • Tricldrown 5.1.1.1

          A vector can be anything down to a tiny particle of dust.
          Unless specified a vector could be your hand a lettuce leaf etc.

          • Richard McGrath 5.1.1.1.1

            In general (and especially in medical literature) the term vector refers to insects or other living organisms that can spread disease from one animal to another. You may be getting confused with fomites, which are inanimate objects capable of spreading infection (e.g. bat droppings which can pass on rabies virus).

    • gsays 5.2

      Hi inspider, I am keen to hear an explanation for the respiratory diseases and rheumatic fever.

      • inspider 5.2.2

        Poor quality and crowded housing are clearly an issue but it’s not simple and it appears to me there is either a biological or cultural thing going on, particularly with rheumatic fever. It’s almost non existent in the Asian population and in the South Island (both of which have some level of poverty) and in the Pacific population it has between 3 and 6 times the incidence that it has in the Maori population yet child poverty is higher for Maori, and the rate in Northland is much lower than most of Auckland.

        More importantly rates are going down significantly.

        https://surv.esr.cri.nz/PDF_surveillance/RheumaticFever/Rheumaticfeverbi-annualreportJan-Dec2016.pdf

        • McFlock 5.2.2.1

          Don’t ask for references (so grain of salt time), but ISTR Counties Manukau DHB has done quite a bit in increasing PI access to primary healthcare and had a pilot programme targeting RHD through community networks rather than waiting for appearances at doc or ED.

          Couple that with crowding and previous distrust of conventional authorities (and charges for adults making them reluctant or believing they can’t take their kid to that GP), and you’ve got one DHB making a big dent.

          And also CMDHB has 40-50% of all the PI people in the country, and you’ve got skewed national stats suddenly taking a dip because of one DHB.

          If I remember, I’ll see if I can look up some of that tomorrow and linky-mclinkface.

        • gsays 5.2.2.2

          Hi inspider, cheers for the response.

  6. mosa 6

    This is a major public health issue and not informing people immediately to try to contain a serious contagious disease is a major cock up of momentous proportions.

  7. stunned mullet 7

    the stupid it burns !

    • One Anonymous Bloke 7.1

      Only metaphorically.

      The negligence, on the other hand, the defunding, the profit motive, they all have tangible symptoms, including burning.

  8. Still speaking out 8

    Two things which makes this situation much worse:

    – The church where the outbreak occurred was taking place at a primary SCHOOL.

    -A few days after the outbreak, there was a large cultural FESTIVAL which backed directly onto the school where the outbreak happened. The festival was literally ZERO minutes walk from where the outbreak occurred.

    Did the public not get informed because someone didn’t want the cultural festival to be cancelled? Probably, because there is no other logical explanation for such negligent behavior.

  9. Tui 9

    this is a direct result of nasty nats war on the poor! i wouldn’t be surprised if it deliberate!

    ~ Tui

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