BAGUIO CITY – Typhoid fever cases in the Cordillera from January 1, 2018 to October 6, 2018 reached 1,894 cases which was 15 percent higher compared to the 1,649 cases that was reported during the same period last year.
Based on a report obtained from the Cordillera office of the Department of Health (DOH-CAR) regional epidemiology and surveillance unit (RESU), there were no typhoid fever-related deaths in the region for this year compared to the single reported death due to the said illness during the same period last year.
The reported typhoid fever cases in the region were from Benguet with 769 cases or 40.6 percent followed by Kalinga with 298 cases or 15.7 percent; Ifugao – 187 cases or 9.9 percent; Apayao – 186 cases or 9.9 percent; Mountain Province – 175 cases or 9.2 percent; Baguio City – 134 cases or 7 percent; Abra – 79 cases or 4.2 percent and non-CAR provinces – 66 cases or 3.5 percent.
Health authorities revealed there were some 976 males who contracted the illness which represent 51.5 percent of the total number of typhoid fever cases regionwide.
Further, the age range of the typhoid fever patients was from 7 days to 98 years old with a median of 22 years old.
Geeny Anne Austria, Nurse V of the DOH-CAR’s RESU, claimed that clustering of typhoid fever cases were reported by the different district surveillance units in Apayao, Baguio City, Benguet, Ifugao, Kalinga and Mountain Province.
Experts disclosed that typhoid fever is a systematic bacterial disease with insidious onset of sustained fever, severe headache, malaise, anorexia, splenomegaly, non-productive cough in the early stage of the illness, and constipation more often than diarrhea in adults.
Moreover, the infection is reportedly transmitted through the ingestion of contaminated feces, food and water from whatever sources.
Among the recommended preventive measures that should be undertaken by concerned individuals so as not to contract the illness include the practice of proper handwashing before food preparation, before eating and after using the comfort room; maintain a high standard personal hygiene; maintain rigorous standards of cleanliness in food preparation, food handling and food storage, especially salads and other cold served foods and report all diarrheal cases with increasing trend or clustering to the RESU via whatever mode.
Paratyphoid is caused by the bacterium Salmonella enterica of the serotypes Paratyphi A, Paratyphi B, or Paratyphi C growing in the intestines and blood. They are usually spread by eating or drinking food or water contaminated with the feces of an infected person. They may occur when a person who prepares food is infected. Risk factors include poor sanitation as is found among poor crowded populations. Occasionally, they may be transmitted by sex. Humans are the only animals infected. Diagnosis may be based on symptoms and confirmed by either culturing the bacteria or detecting the bacterial DNA in the blood, stool, or bone marrow. Culturing the bacteria can be difficult. Bone-marrow testing is the most accurate. Symptoms are similar to that of many other infectious diseases. Typhus is an unrelated disease.
By Dexter A. See