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BAGUIO CITY – The Cordillera office of the Department of Health (DOH-CAR) revealed typhoid fever cases in the region dropped by fifty-three percent with 622 cases for the first twenty-one weeks of this year compared to the 1,317 cases recorded by the different district health units during the same period last year.
Dra. Amelita M. Pangilinan, DOH-CAR assistant regional director, said the typhoid fever cases were reported from Benguet with 226 cases or a 36.3 percent decline; Kalinga with 117 cases or an 18.8 percent reduction from the previous cases; Apayao with 83 cases or a 13.3 percent drop; Ifugao with 64 cases or a decrease of 10.4 percent; Mountain Province with 55 cases or a decrease of 8.8 percent; Baguio City with 49 cases or a dip of 7.9 percent, Abra with 10 cases or a 1.6 percent reduction and non-CAR provinces with 18 cases or a 2.9 percent reduction of the previous cases.
Of the total number of recorded typhoid fever cases, the DOH-CAR official claimed 323 or 51.9 percent were females and that the age range of those affected by the dreaded viral infection is 3 months to 97 years old with a median of 23 years old.
She added that there is one reported death from Region II due to typhoid fever which is one of the illnesses being closely monitored by the agency for a possible outbreak in the future.
For weeks 18-21, Pangilinan claimed there were 64 typhoid fever cases reported by the different district rural health units which is an 84 percent decrease compared to the 390 cases recorded during the same period last year.
Based on the report of the DOH-CAR’s Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit, Benguet had 28 cases or a decrease of 43.8 percent drop; Kalinga with 15 cases or a 23.4 percent decrease; Mountain Province with 11 cases or a 17.2 percent decline; Baguio City with 5 cases or a 7.8 percent drop; Apayao with 3 cases or a drop of 4.7 percent and non-CAR provinces with 2 cases or a 31. Percent reduction.
According to him, 57.8 percent or 37cases reported during the said period were males that accounted for most of the cases and the age range of those affected by the illness were 3 months to 91 years old with the median at 21.
Pangilinan said clustering of cases was noted in several barangays in the region but there was no outbreak of the illness as the patients were immediately given appropriate medical attention at the health facilities.
She explained that typhoid fever is a systemic bacterial disease with 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.
Pangilinan claimed the infection is transmitted through the ingestion of contaminated feces, food, and water.
Among the preventive measures 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 hygiene, maintain rigorous standards of cleanliness in food handling and food preparation, especially salads and cold served foods, practice proper food storage and report all diarrhea cases with increasing trend or clustering to the concerned health offices.