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Woman dies in Auckland typhoid outbreak

Radio New Zealand logo Radio New Zealand 4/04/2017

<span style="font-size:13px;">A woman who contracted typhoid has died in Auckland, health authorities have confirmed.</span> © Getty Images A woman who contracted typhoid has died in Auckland, health authorities have confirmed. The number of confirmed cases in the Auckland outbreak has grown to 15 and there are two further probable cases.

Health officials said the woman who died had been hospitalised with serious health issues and the typhoid infection was a complicating factor.

She was a member of the Pacific church in Auckland at the centre of the outbreak and died in hospital a week ago, Auckland Regional Public Health Service (ARPHS) said.

At least 10 others who contracted typhoid are from the same church, but live in different locations across central and south Auckland. They are still being treated in hospital.

The health service says it seems likely that, as a group of cases emerged around the same time late last week, they had been infected at the same time or place.

Officials first confirmed the outbreak on Friday.

"We are working with the church to trace other people who may be infected and we are doing this while they are mourning the loss of one of their own," said Dr Julia Peters, the regional health service's clinical director.

The woman's funeral was held yesterday.

Auckland gets around 30 cases of typhoid a year but are usually individual cases where someone has been infected overseas.

Typhoid is a serious illness, and is potentially fatal, but can be treated with antibiotics.

Symptoms include a high fever developing over several days, headaches, general weakness and muscle aches. Stomach pain and constipation are also common but some people get diarrhoea.

TIMELINE:

Tuesday, 28 March - woman who contracted typhoid dies in Auckland Hospital. She had serious health issues, but typhoid was a complicating factor

Friday, 31 March - Auckland Regional Public Health Service announces there is an outbreak of typhoid, with 10 people in hospital

Saturday, 1 April - ARPHS says there is another suspected case of typhoid. It makes first mention that the outbreak has affected the Pacific community

Monday, 3 April - ARPHS says there is an 11th confirmed case of typhoid. It says the cases are linked and they are members of a Pacific church community. The funeral of the woman who died is held.

Tuesday, 4 April - ARPHS announces that a woman who had contracted typhoid has died. The church is named and the number of confirmed cases rises to 15. There are two further suspected cases.

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