Wed, Jul 17, 2019 - Page 2 News List

CDC confirms first clustered typhoid cases this year

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

Centers for Disease Control Epidemic Intelligence Center Deputy Director Guo Hung-wei gives an update on the latest typhoid cases in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: CNA

Three people living in the same home in northern Taiwan were confirmed to be the first clustered cases of typhoid fever this year, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said yesterday.

A woman in her 30s, her young child and an Indonesian nurse in her 30s were confirmed to have the disease on July 2, Tuesday last week and Wednesday last week respectively, CDC Epidemic Intelligence Center Deputy Director Guo Hung-wei (郭宏偉) said.

They had not visited any other countries recently, nor had they socialized with other foreign domestic workers in the area, he said.

The mother and child experienced a fever and muscle pain from June 23 to July 6, but had mistaken the symptoms for dengue fever or influenza, CDC physician Lin Yung-ching (林詠青) said.

The nurse did not experience any symptoms, but was nevertheless confirmed to have the disease, he said, adding that the child has been hospitalized for treatment, while the local health department is still tracking the possible source of infection.

The cluster is unusual, as most people are infected with typhoid fever after eating contaminated food in other countries, Lin said.

As of Monday, 10 imported cases and four indigenous cases have been confirmed so far this year, he added.

Typhoid fever is a bacterial infection that spreads mainly through contaminated food and water, usually raw or undercooked food, or close contact with an infected person, Lin said.

Common symptoms include continuous fever, headache, abdominal pain, diarrhea and coughing, he said.

The morality rate is less than 1 percent if treated, but can reach 10 to 20 percent if left untreated, he added.

To avoid contracting the disease, Lin recommended eating foods that have been thoroughly cooked and are still hot, drinking boiled or bottled water, avoiding raw foods, and washing hands thoroughly with soap before meals and after using the toilet.

People who are planning to visit areas affected by the disease should consult a doctor about getting vaccinated in advance, Lin said.

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