Published On: Fri, Mar 28th, 2014

Taiwan reports upticks in typhoid, paratyphoid

The Taiwan Centers for Disease Control is reporting more cases of typhoid and paratyphoid than usual this year, according to a press release Wednesday.



Since Jan. 1, a total of 7 typhoid fever cases have been confirmed, including two indigenous cases and 5 imported cases. Among the imported cases, 3 cases are foreign workers and 2 cases are local students, and they respectively became infected in Indonesia (2), the Philippines (2), and Pakistan (1).

In addition, a total of 4 paratyphoid fever cases have been confirmed and all of them are imported cases. They respectively became infected in Cambodia (2), Nepal (1) and Myanmar (1).

Health officials say that the numbers reported this year are higher than the numbers seen in the past three years during the same period.

The Taiwan CDC is reminding people traveling overseas to avoid raw food or food purchased from street vendors, consume only boiled or bottled water, and maintain good personal hygiene habits to prevent infection.

Typhoid fever is a potentially life-threatening illness caused by the bacterium Salmonella typhi. Salmonella typhi lives only in humans. Persons with typhoid fever carry the bacteria in their bloodstream and intestinal tract. In addition, a small number of persons, called carriers, recover from typhoid fever but continue to carry the bacteria. Both ill persons and carriers shed S.typhi in their feces.

The symptoms for typhoid fever include a high fever, headaches, diarrhea or constipation, stomach pains, weakness, and loss of appetite. In some cases a flat, rose-coloured rash may appear on the torso.

You can get typhoid fever if you eat food or drink beverages that have been handled by a person who is shedding S. typhi or if sewage contaminated with S. typhi bacteria gets into the water you use for drinking or washing food. Therefore, typhoid fever is more common in areas of the world where handwashing is less frequent and water is likely to be contaminated with sewage.


Learn more about typhoid fever in this educational video

Paratyphoid A fever is a systemic disease caused by the bacteria Salmonella Paratyphi A. Humans can carry the bacteria in the gut for a significant period of time (chronic carriers), and can transmit the bacteria to other persons (either directly or via food or water contamination). After an incubation period of one to two weeks, a disease characterized by high fever, malaise, cough, rash and enlarged spleen can develop. Diarrhea may be present during the course of the illness.

Ingestion of contaminated food or water is the most common mode of transmission. In Asia and Africa, raw shellfish from sewage contaminated waters, raw fruit and vegetables fertilized by night soil and eaten raw are important vehicles.

There is no effective vaccine available against paratyphoid A infection. Good food handling practices and personal hygiene are the only prevention measures.

For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page and the Outbreak News This Week Radio Show page.

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63


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