Typhoid fever cases drop by 52 percent


BAGUIO CITY  – The Cordillera office of the Department of Health (DOH-CAR) revealed that typhoid fever cases in the region decreased by 52 percent with registered 1,585 cases for the first nine months of this year compared to the 3,307 cases reported during the same period last year.

Dra. Jennifer Joyce R. Pira, medical officer and head of the DOH-CAR Health Emergency Management Cluster, said there was only 1 typhoid-related death for the reckoning period this year compared to the 2 typhoid-related deaths during the same period last year.

Based on data obtained from the DOH-CAR, typhoid fever cases came from Benguet with 488 or 30.8 percent of the total number of recorded cases, Kalinga with 299 cases or 18.9 percent, Ifugao with 276 cases or 17.4 percent, Apayao – 186 cases or 11.7 percent, Baguio City – 101 cases or 6.4 percent, Abra – 90 cases or 1.3 percent and non-CAR provinces – 35 or 2.2 percent.

Pira reported that there were 828females which represent 52.2 percent of the total number of affected individuals and that the age range of the typhoid-affected persons was from 1 month to 97 years old with a median of 20 years old.

Last month, the DOH-CAR added there were 124 typhoid fever cases that were reported in the different district health units regionwide.

According to the DOH-CAR report, the typhoid cases last month came from Benguet with 40 cases or 32.3 percent of the total number of cases followed by Kalinga with 34 or 27.5 percent, Apayao – 23 cases or 18.5 percent, Mountain Province – 13 or 10.5 percent, Baguio City – 11 or 8.9 percent and non-Car provinces –8 cases or 6.5 percent.

During the reckoning period, Pira revealed there were 65 females or 52.4 percent of the total number of recorded cases have been affected and that the age range of the typhoid fever cases was 9 months to 89 years old with a median of 15 years old.

She added clustering of typhoid cases were reported in some of the barangays in the region although the said cases were isolated, thus, the district health units were able to control the same to prevent the outbreak of the said illness that could compromise the health condition of the potential patients.

The DOH-CAR official explained typhoid fever is a systematic bacterial disease which is characterized by the 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.

Pira asserted the infection is transmitted through the ingestion of contaminated feces, food and water that are taken in by the individuals.

Among the preventive measures suggested by health authorities to prevent contracting typhoid fever include the practice of hand washing with soap and running water before food preparation and before eating, after using the toilet, and maintain a high standard of personal hugene; maintain rigorous standards of cleanliness in food handling and food preparation, especially salads and other cold served foods; report all diarrheal cases with increasing trend or clustering to the different health surveillance units and practice proper food storage.

By Dexter A. See