A total of 68 cases of typhoid fever were recorded in the Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon) region from January 1 to May 29 this year as the Department of Health (DOH) regional office continued to remind residents to practice personal hygiene.
Laguna province recorded the highest incidence of typhoid fever with 30 cases, followed by Cavite with 26, Rizal with 6, and Batangas with 1.
Although there is a significant decrease in cases compared to the same period last year — with 191 cases recorded by the Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (RESU) – the health department said there is a need to be cautious to avoid the life-threatening illness.
DOH-Calabarzon Regional Medical Technologist Kimberly B. Cu said typhoid fever is common in areas with poor hygiene and sanitation and lack of safe drinking water sources.
“If you are unsure of the quality of the water, which is untreated, especially those taken from deep wells, it is best to boil it for at least 2 minutes to kill bacteria,” Cu said.
“Also avoid eating unsanitary street-vended food, as they are commonly exposed to insects and various environmental elements,” she added.
When eating raw fruit and vegetables, Cu reminded the public to wash them thoroughly with clean water.
“Essentially, wash hands properly with soap and water before and after eating and also after using the toilet, as it is the best way to control infection,” Cu noted.
Typhoid is an infectious disease caused by the bacteria Salmonella typhi and is transmitted by fecal oral route or by consuming food and/or water contaminated by the bacteria.
A person with typhoid fever usually suffers from sustained high fever, headache, malaise (weakness), loss of appetite and diarrhea or constipation.
If a member of the family is suffering from any of the symptoms mentioned, bring the person immediately to the nearest hospital for immediate treatment, Cu said.
“The only effective treatment for the illness is antibiotics such as ciprofloxacin for non-pregnant adults and ceftriaxone for pregnant patients. Give them plenty of water to rehydrate,” she emphasized.