5 Jul 2006

Marshall Islands EPA says private tank water unlikely to be source of typhoid outbreak

2:40 pm on 5 July 2006

The Marshall Islands Environmental Protection Agency has virtually dismissed private tank water as the source of the current typhoid outbreak.

The republic normally has two people a year struck down with typhoid, but 22 people have so far been hospitalised with the illness and private water supplies were suspected to be the source.

But as Abraham Hicking from the E-P-A explains, testing did not bear that out.

"We tested about ten patients. We tested their water sources and they're all private water catchments, and most of them are safe for drinking."

Abraham Hicking says of the one or two which were not safe, the EPA is advised the homeowners to boil their water or add bleach.

He says about 60-percent of the town supply water in the capital, Majuro is also contaminated with coliform bacteria.