Health officials on the Visayan province of Negro Oriental are reported an increase in cases and deaths due to the bacterial infection, typhoid fever, according to a Visayan Daily Star report today.

Salmonella serotype Typhi
Typhoid image/CDC

From January to November 15 this year, 489 typhoid cases were recorded with three deaths, which is 38 percent higher compared to 354 cases and one death for the whole of 2014. The typhoid fatalities were reported from Bayawan City, which also recorded the most cases year-to-date with 75.

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.

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 foodor 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 antibiotics usually begin to feel better within 2 to 3 days.

Learn more about typhoid fever in this educational video

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