S Anita, KM Amir, K Fadzilah, J Ahamad, U Noorhaida, K Marina, MY Paid and Z Hanif (2012). Risk factor for thypoid outbreak in Sungai Congkak Recreational Park, Selangor 2009. Medical Journal of Malaysia 67(1): 12-16
Typhoid fever continues to pose public health problems in Selangor where cases are found sporadically with occasional outbreaks reported. In February 2009, Hospital Tengku Ampuan Rahimah (HTAR) reported a cluster of typhoid fever among four children in the pediatric ward. We investigated the source of the outbreak, risk factors for the infection to propose control measures.
We conducted a case-control study to identify the risk factors for the outbreak. A case was defined as a person with S. typhi isolated from blood, urine or stool and had visited Sungai Congkak recreational park on 27th January 2010. Controls were healthy household members of cases who have similar exposure but no isolation of S. typhi in blood, urine or stool. Cases were identified from routine surveillance system, medical record searching from the nearest clinic and contact tracing other than family members including food handlers and construction workers in the recreational park. Immediate control measures were initiated and followed up.
Twelve (12) cases were identified from routine surveillance with 75 household controls. The Case-control study showed cases were 17 times more likely to be 12 years or younger (95% CI: 2.10, 137.86) and 13 times more likely to have ingested river water accidentally during swimming (95% CI: 3.07, 58.71). River water was found contaminated with sewage disposal from two public toilets which effluent grew salmonella spp.
The typhoid outbreak in Sungai Congkak recreational park resulted from contaminated river water due to poor sanitation. Children who accidentally ingested river water were highly susceptible. Immediate closure and upgrading of public toilet has stopped the outbreak.