BAGUIO CITY – The Cordillera office of the Department of Health (DOH-CAR) reported that typhoid fever cases for the first 17 months of this year dropped by 26 percent with 433 cases regionwide compared to the 586 cases recorded during the same period last year.
Geeny Anne I. Austria, a nurse at the DHG-CAR’s Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit, said there were no typhoid fever-related death recorded in the region this year compared to the single death report3ed during the same period last year due to typhoid fever.
Health authorities claimed that clustering of typhoid fever cases were reported in the different parts of the region so health workers have been mobilized to closely monitor the areas where the clustering of cases were noted by the agency.
Austria explained 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 of then than diarrhea in adults.
According to her, the infection is transmitted through the ingestion of contaminated feces, food, and water.
Among the recommended preventive measures to avoid contracting typhoid fever include the practice of proper hand washing before food preparation, before eating, after using the toilet; maintain a high standard of personal hygiene; maintain rigorous standards of cleanliness in food preparation, food handling and food storage, especially leads and other cold served foods and report all diarrheal cases within increasing trend or clustering to the concerned municipal, provincial and regional epidemiology and surveillance units.
She advised individuals suffering from the symptoms of the illness to immediately seek medical attention from the nearest health facility in their places so that they will be able to be provided with the appropriate medication for them to be cured and spared from worsening health condition.
Austria claimed people should not wait for their health condition to worsen before seeking medical assistance from health authorities so that it will not be too late in the day and for them to be immediately provided with the necessary treatment and medication for them to be able to hurdle t6heir illness acquired from whatever poor hygiene.
Austria noted that typhoid fever is one of the dreaded illnesses being closely monitored by the health authorities in the region to be able to establish the actual scenario of the said illness during certain periods of the year compared to the recorded cases during the previous year.
Based on the data obtained from the DOH-CAR, most of the recorded typhoid cases come from remote areas of the region where food and water are allegedly exposed to different kinds of bacteria that contribute to people acquiring the said illness.
She urged individuals suffering from the said illness not to self-medicate so that proper medication will be provided them instead of wrongly diagnosing themselves.
By Dexter A. See