CDC confirms first cluster of imported typhoid cases this year

Taipei, The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) on Tuesday confirmed the first cluster of imported typhoid fever cases this year and urged the public to pay attention to food sanitation when traveling to areas where typhoid is endemic.

The patients, a new immigrant mother and her eldest son, were on a family visit to Indonesia from Aug. 6-19.

Upon their return, the woman suffered from diarrhea and abdominal pain, said CDC Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (???).

She sought medical assistance three times from Aug. 20-30, and later tests confirmed she had contracted typhoid, Chuang said.

The CDC official added that the woman's eldest son subsequently received treatment on Sept. 4 after developing a fever, cough and diarrhea from Aug. 31.

The father and youngest son, who traveled to the same area, have not been infected.

According to Chuang, the incubation period for typhoid is usually 8-14 days, but depending on the infective dose can vary from 3 days to 1 month.

Chen Wan-ching (???), a doctor with the CDC, said the two patients dined mostly at home during their time in Indonesia, and consumed only home-grown vegetables.

They were probably exposed to poor sanitation and hygiene practices, which led them to contract the bacterial infection, Chen said.

Typhoid fever is transmitted through the ingestion of contaminated food or water and its symptoms include a persistent fever, headache, diarrhea and coughing.

Chen advised the public to refrain from eating uncooked food or drinking water in areas where typhoid is endemic. Visitors should also wash their hands thoroughly before eating and consider getting vaccinated for typhoid if they plan to travel frequently to such areas.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel