By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

The Taiwan Department of Disease Control (CDC) reported today (computer translated) the first imported case of extensively drug-resistant (XDR) typhoid fever in the country. The patient, a 30-year-old male traveled to a number of countries during the incubation time including Pakistan, which has battling an outbreak of XDR typhoid for several years.

Salmonella serotype Typhi
Typhoid image/CDC

According to the results of genetic sequencing and drug resistance gene comparison, the the place where it was contracted in Pakistan.

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According to the CDC, the patient began to present with symptoms while still overseas and didn’t seek medical care until returning to Taiwan. The patient is now in stable condition, but is currently being kept in an isolation ward at the hospital for further observation, the CDC said.

Typhoid fever is a potentially life-threatening illness caused by the bacterium Salmonella typhiSalmonella 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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XDR typhoid is a life-threatening and highly infectious disease, resistant to five classes of antibiotics.