The Department of Health reported a 39 percent increase in typhoid fever cases regionwide from January to first two weeks of December of 2016 with 3,841 cases compared to the 2,756 cases during the similar period in 2015.
Department of Health-Cordillera Director Lakshmi Legaspi said two died due to typhoid fever in 2016, a 71-year old female from Sadanga, Mountain Province and a 33-year old male from Tuba, Benguet.
“Typhoid fever is a systematic bacterial disease with insidious onset of sustained fever, severe headache, malaise, anorexia, splenomegaly, non-productive cough in the early stages of the illness, and constipation more often than diarrhea in adults. The disease is transmitted by food and water contaminated by feces and urine of patients and carriers,” Legaspi said.
Ifugao reported the highest increase at 293 percent with 224 typhoid fever cases during the reckoning period in 2016 compared to the 57 cases recorded during the similar period the previous year, followed by Apayao that registered a 209 percent increase with 272 cases in 2016 compared to the 88 typhoid fever cases in 2015.
Kalinga posted a 146 percent increase during the first 50 weeks of 2016 with 420 cases compared to the 171 cases during the similar period the previous year. Benguet reported a 67 percent increase with 1,889 cases in 2016 compared to 1,129 cases during the similar reckoning period the previous year.
Baguio City reported a 45 percent decrease with 212 cases in 2016 compared to the 386 cases during the same reckoning period the previous year followed by Abra that posted a 36 percent decline with 58 cases last year compared to the 96 cases during the same period the previous year.
Typhoid fever cases from non-CAR areas registered a 19 percent decrease with 58 cases last year compared to the 72 cases during the same period in 2015 followed by Mountain Province which posted the lowest decrease with 708 cases last year compared to the 762 cases during the same reckoning period the previous year.
Legaspi recommended that the municipal epidemiology and surveillance unit personnel of Pudtol, Apayao; Paracelis, Mountain Province and Tabuk City, Kalinga to intensify diarrheal surveillance in their areas and report suspect cases to local health authorities immediately.
She ordered health personnel to conduct prevention and control activities of typhoid fever and acute bloody diarrhea cases and to conduct quarterly testing of water sources.
She stressed the importance of conducting disinfection of water tanks or reservoirs and information campaign on maintenance of personal hygiene; and practice of hand hygiene that involves washing with soap and water and using hand sanitizer.
She also encouraged people to practice safe food preparation, handling, a and proper storage; and to enforce suitable quality control procedures in industries that prepare food and drink for human consumption.
People must also collect and dispose of garbage properly, boil drinking water for three to five minutes, and maintain cleanliness of toilets.