Some 65 people in Jammu and Kashmir State have been stricken with typhoid fever in the Rajouri district with local officials blaming the outbreak on contaminated drinking water, according to Greater Kashmir report Sunday.

Salmonella serotype Typhi
Typhoid image/CDC

Medical Superintendent of District Hospital Rajouri, Dr, Mehmood Bajar said as of Saturday around 260 patients with Typhoid symptoms were registered in the hospital, with 65 being laboratory confirmed.

Worn out water pipes have likely led to the contamination of the drinking water supply and a boil water advisory has been issued.

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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