By NewsDesk @bactiman63

The Pakistan National Institute of Health reported an additional 52 extensively drug-resistant (XDR) typhoid fever the week ending Aug. 14 in Karachi, bringing the total cases in 2021 to date to 1,739.

Salmonella serotype Typhi
Typhoid image/CDC

In Karachi, a total of 15,224 cases of XDR typhoid fever were reported from January 01, 2017 to Aug 14, 2021, with more than 7000 cases reported in 2019 alone.

The XDR Typhoid cases were reported mostly among the children and maximum number of XDR cases 6381 (42%) were reported in the age group 0-4 years.

Another 5,905 cases were reported in Sindh province (excluding Karachi) since 2016, with 70 percent reported from the District Hyderabad.

Typhoid fever, caused by the bacterium Salmonella typhi, is a life-threatening bacterial infection. Typhoid fever is still common in the developing world, where it affects about 21 million people annually.

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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.

XDR Typhi strains are resistant to antibiotics generally recommended to treat typhoid fever, including ampicillin, ceftriaxone, chloramphenicol, ciprofloxacin, and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole. Isolates from patients linked to the outbreak in Pakistan are susceptible to carbapenems and azithromycin.

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