Bacterial Infection Outbreak Lands 18 S’poreans In Hospital

The string of food poisoning cases in 2018 caused many Singaporeans to become extra cautious of food hygiene.

While no serious incidents have occurred recently, it seems like there’s still reason for us to stay alert.

According to a report by The Straits Times, 18 Singaporeans have been hospitalised for bacterial infection in a span of 3 weeks, which is a huge cause of concern.

18 bacterial infection cases in Jul & Aug

18 individuals had contracted typhoid fever between 13 July and 4 Aug, the Ministry of Health (MOH) and Singapore Food Agency (SFA) confirmed in a joint statement on Saturday (17 Aug).

Since diagnosis is only possible through blood and stool tests, the patients had to stay in the hospital.

All 18 are in stable condition, and 14 of them have since been discharged.

Despite the good news, MOH and SFA will conduct further investigations into the cause of the outbreak.

Disease can spread through food contamination

Bacterial infection usually occurs when one consumes food that has been “contaminated by the faeces and urine of patients or carriers”. Traces of the bodily waste carry the bacteria Salmonella typhi, which causes the fever.

This was the same bacteria found in the food, blood and stool samples in the unfortunate Spize food poisoning incident in 2018.


Due to the close contact required for the virus to spread, patients will be interviewed to find any common links between them.

Consuming food from the same eateries, same ready-to-eat food products and the likes will likely be major red flags.

Need for precautionary measures

Doctors have advised patients who are food handlers to stay away from work until they have fully recovered.

Symptoms of typhoid fever are typically a prolonged fever along with:

  • Headache
  • Body aches
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Constipation

If you or anyone you know is experiencing any of the above, do seek medical assistance immediately. Treatment is possible with antibiotics.

But prevention is always better than cure, so remember to handle food with utmost care and hygiene, so you won’t put anybody at risk of falling terribly ill.

Featured image adapted from MIMS Today.