Typhoid fever cases in Cordillera up by 14 percent

Typhoid fever cases in the region for the first ten months of this year reached 2,039 which is fourteen percent higher than the 1,794 cases recorded by the health department during the same period last year.

From January 1 to November 1, 2018, the Cordillera office of the Department of Health (DOH-CAR) stated that there were no typhoid fever related deaths this year compared to the lone fatality that was registered by the agency during the same reckoning period last year.

The report stipulated that the typhoid fever cases were from Benguet with 827 cases followed by Kalinga with 301 cases, Apayao – 213 cases, Ifugao – 204 cases, Mountain Province – 184 cases, Baguio City – 151 cases, Abra – 85 cases and non-Car provinces 74 cases.

Karen B. Lonogan, health program officer of the DOH-CAR’s Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (RESU), claimed that there were more males who were affected with the illness which totaled 1,050 or 52 percent of the total affected individuals.

According to her, the age range of the affected individuals was 7 days to 98 years old with a median of 22 years old.

She disclosed that clustering of typhoid fever cases were recorded by the agency in Apayao, Baguio City, Benguet, Ifugao, Kalinga and Mountain Province.

Health experts revealed that typhoid fever is a systematic bacterial disease with insidious onset of sustained fever, severe headache, malaise, anorexia, splenomegaly, non-productive cough in the early stage of the illness, and constipation more often than diarrhea in adults.

The infection is transmitted through the reported ingestion of contaminated feces, food and water.

Among the recommended typhoid or paratyphoid prevention and control measures include the religious practice of proper handwashing before food preparation, before eating, after using the toilet; maintain a high standard of personal hygiene; maintain rigorous standards of cleanliness in food preparation, food handling and food storage, especially salads and other cold served foods and report all diarrheal cases with increasing clustering to the different local emergency and surveillance units.

Experts disclosed that typhoid fever is a systematic bacterial disease with insidious onset of sustained fever, severe headache, malaise, anorexia, splenomegaly, non-productive cough in the early stage of the illness, and constipation more often than diarrhea in adults.

Moreover, the infection is reportedly transmitted through the ingestion of contaminated feces, food and water from whatever sources.

Among the recommended preventive measures that should be undertaken by concerned individuals so as not to contract the illness include the practice of proper hand washing before food preparation, before eating and after using the comfort room; maintain a high standard personal hygiene; maintain rigorous standards of cleanliness in food preparation, food handling and food storage, especially salads and other cold served foods and report all diarrheal cases with increasing trend or clustering to the RESU via whatever mode. - Dexter A. See