Health officials in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) on Luzon island, Philippines are reporting an increase in typhoid in the region.

Salmonella serotype Typhi
Typhoid image/CDC

According to the Department of Health-CAR, 681 cases were recorded in the first quarter of 2019 compared to the 289 cases in the first quarter of 2018.

Geeny Anne Austria Nurse V of DOH-CAR says data shows an increase in all the provinces in the region with Mountain Province having the highest number of cases at 224 or a 1,623 percent increase followed by Benguet with 220 cases or a 168 percent increase, Kalinga with 68 cases or at 39 percent increase, followed by Baguio City with 46 cases or a 171 percent increase, Apayao with 45 cases, Ifugao with 38, Abra with 28, while 12 cases came from outside the region.

Typhoid fever is a potentially life-threatening illness caused by the bacterium Salmonella typhi. Salmonella typhi lives only in humans. Persons with typhoid fever carry the bacteria in their bloodstream and intestinal tract. In addition, a small number of persons, called carriers, recover from typhoid fever but continue to carry the bacteria. Both ill persons and carriers shed S.typhi in their feces.

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You can get typhoid fever if you eat food or drink beverages that have been handled by a person who is shedding S. typhi or if sewage contaminated with S. typhi bacteria gets into the water you use for drinking or washing food. Therefore, typhoid fever is more common in areas of the world where handwashing is less frequent and water is likely to be contaminated with sewage.

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Typhoid fever can be successfully treated with appropriate antibiotics, and persons given antibiotics usually begin to feel better within 2 to 3 days.

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