Three more catch typhoid

By Alison Hsiao  /  Staff reporter

Thu, Mar 14, 2013 - Page 5

Three people who had traveled to Myanmar tested positive for typhoid fever last month, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said.

Two students and one businessman who visited Myanmar in December last year, and in January, began to develop symptoms, including fever, headache, diarrhea and loss of appetite last month.

Laboratory tests confirmed that all three had typhoid fever, the CDC said.

All three were hospitalized, and two have since been discharged, it added.

The center has traced and examined the 73 people who have had contact with the three patients. None have developed typhoid-related symptoms.

That brings the total of typhoid cases this year to five; the other two patients had traveled to Indonesia.

There were 29 confirmed cases of imported typhoid fever, mainly from Indonesia, Myanmar, India and the Philippines, over the past three years: 11 in 2010, seven in 2011 and 11 last year.

Luo I-chun (羅一鈞), a physician specializing in disease prevention at the center, advised people traveling to Southeast Asia to pay attention to personal hygiene and food sanitation and to avoid uncooked food such as salads.

“Salads may be contaminated by unwashed hands or bacteria-carrying flies. Travelers are also advised to drink bottled water,” Luo said.

Luo also suggested getting vaccinated before traveling to these areas.

“There are 12 travel medical clinics where people can get vaccinated,” Luo said, adding that travelers have to be at least two years old to receive the vaccine.

“[The vaccine] costs about NT$1,380, not including treatment fees,” he said.

“However, the vaccine works for only two years and is only between 50 percent and 80 percent effective,” he added.