By Francis Allan L. Angelo


SEVERAL Iloilo City barangays are being monitored by the City Health Office (CHO) after cases of typhoid fever this year increased by more than 800% compared to last year.


Based on CHO data, a total of 289 Iloilo City residents were stricken by typhoid fever January to October 2008. A total of 10 persons died of the said illness.


Last year’s record for the same period was only 33 cases with no fatality recorded.


The most number of typhoid fever cases occurred February with 85 persons affected and 3 fatalities. The month of March saw the second highest number of typhoid cases, 54.


Dr. Urminico Baronda, CHO chief, said the sudden surge of typhoid cases could be attributed to the contamination of sources of drinking water in the aftermath of the flood brought about by typhoon Frank June 21.


Baronda said they are constantly monitoring typhoid fever incidence in the city, particularly the Waterfront barangays where the most number of cases occurred.


The Waterfront area is suffering from lack of potable water supply after the typhoon damaged the facilities of the Metro Iloilo Water District.


Typhoid fever, also known as enteric fever, or commonly known as typhoid, is an illness caused by the bacterium Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi. Common worldwide, it is transmitted by the ingestion of food or water contaminated with feces from an infected person.


Typhoid fever is characterized by a sustained fever as high as 40 °C (104 °F), profuse sweating, gastroenteritis, and nonbloody diarrhea. Less commonly a rash of flat, rose-colored spots may appear.


Typhoid fever in most cases is not fatal. Antibiotics, such as ampicillin, chloramphenicol, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, Amoxicillin and ciprofloxacin, have been commonly used to treat typhoid fever in developed countries.


Prompt treatment of the disease with antibiotics reduces the case-fatality rate to approximately 1%. When untreated, typhoid fever persists for three weeks to a month. Death occurs in between 10% and 30% of untreated cases.


Sanitation and hygiene are the critical measures that can be taken to prevent typhoid. Typhoid does not affect animals and therefore transmission is only from human to human. Typhoid can only spread in environments where human feces or urine are able to come into contact with food or drinking water. Careful food preparation and washing of hands are therefore crucial to preventing typhoid.




If typhoid fever incidence in the city surged, the number of dengue victims this year decreased.


From 431 dengue cases including 20 fatalities recorded in 2007, only 121 cases with 6 fatalities were monitored this year.