At least one resident of Barangay Guadalupe has died as a result of typhoid fever, and some seven other have been hospitalized, according to Cebu City Health Department health chief Daisy Villa.

Salmonella serotype Typhi
Typhoid image/CDC

This has prompted health officials to inspect water sources to the two sitios.

Dr. Raymond Ogan of the City Health Department said an outbreak can be declared if a certain area where the disease occurred has no records of the disease in the past five years.

“Even if there are only two to three cases of a disease in a barangay but such did not happen in the span of five years, that’s already an outbreak,” he said.

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.

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.

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

Learn more about typhoid fever in this educational video

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