Zimbabwe bans street vendors over typhoid fears

Zimbabwe authorities have banned food vendors in the capital Harare following an outbreak of typhoid fever.

The health minister David Parirenyatwa says two people including a 13-year-old girl died from the disease over the last month. Hundreds more have been infected.

Typhoid bacteria is spread when food or water containing contaminated fecal matter is consumed.

Authorities have set up a treatment camp to deal with the rising cases of the highly contagious typhoid fever in the capital. Health minister David Parirenyatwa says Harare accounts for three quarters of cases in the country.

A joint ministerial taskforce set up to prevent the spread of the disease has announced a prohibition on cooked and dry food vending.

The ban will affect hundreds of vendors who earn a living selling fruits and vegetables on streets.

The city is also mounting a campaign to get clear rubbish because typhoid is also caused by poor sanitation.

Harare is facing a shortage of piped water, which is forcing some residents to draw water from unsafe sources.

The onset of the rainy season has only worsened the outbreak. The health minister says he fears an outbreak of cholera if measures are taken to stem the outbreak of diarrheal diseases.

In 2009 more than 4,000 people died and 100,000 were infected by a cholera outbreak in the country.

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