George Maponga in Masvingo
At least 15 students were hospitalised at Silveira Mission High School hospital in Bikita on Monday following a suspected outbreak of typhoid. Although authorities said the children were now out of danger, lessons at the Catholic Church-run boarding school were disrupted as they battled to contain the outbreak.

Four other members of the kitchen staff were also hospitalised after reportedly testing positive for the disease.

The Ministry of Health and Child Care has since started monitoring the situation amid fears that the outbreak might affect more students.

It is suspected that the typhoid outbreak started after students ate contaminated food.

Masvingo provincial education director Mr Zedious Chitiga, yesterday confirmed receiving reports of a typhoid outbreak at Silveira Mission High School, but said the situation was under control.

“I received reports about the typhoid outbreak but investigations are still continuing to establish exactly how the disease started. However, I am informed that health officials are on top of the situation and there have not been disruptions to learning activities at the school,’’ he said.

Acting Masvingo provincial medical director Mr Amadeous Shamu, said they were monitoring the situation after a screening exercise was conducted to identify those affected by the disease.

“We made some tests on several students who did not show any symptoms of typhoid except two who tested positive but we are still closely monitoring the situation at the school,’’ he said.

Sources said the outbreak was discovered after one of the students at the boarding school fell ill and was taken to Morgenster Mission Hospital in Masvingo, where tests confirmed she had typhoid.

This reportedly forced health officials to start tests on other students resulting in 15 students and four members of the kitchen staff being diagnosed of the disease.

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