CALAMBA CITY, Laguna: A total of 68 cases of typhoid fever were recorded in Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon) Region from Jan. 1, 2021 to May 29, 2021 as the Department of Health (DoH) regional office continued to remind residents to practice personal hygiene.

The province of Laguna recorded the highest incidence of typhoid fever with 30 cases followed by Cavite with 26, Rizal with six and Batangas with one.

Although there is a significant decrease in cases for the same period last year with 191 cases recorded by the Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit, the surveillance unit cited the need to be cautious to avoid the life-threatening illness.

Kimberly Cu, DoH-Calabarzon regional medical technologist, said typhoid fever is common in areas with poor hygiene and sanitation and lack of safe drinking water source.

"If you are unsure of the quality of the water, especially those taken from deep wells, which are untreated, it is best to boil it for at least 2 minutes to kill bacteria," she added.

"Also avoid eating unsanitary street-vended food as they are commonly exposed to insects and various environmental elements. When eating raw fruit and vegetables, wash them thoroughly with clean water," Cu said.

She added, "Essentially, wash hands properly with soap and water before and after eating and also after using the toilet as it is the best way to control infection."

Typhoid is an infectious disease caused by the bacteria salmonella typhi and is transmitted by fecal oral route or by consuming food and/or water contaminated by the bacteria.

A person with typhoid fever usually suffers from sustained high fever, headache, malaise (weakness), loss of appetite and diarrhea or constipation.

"If a member of the family is suffering from any of the symptoms mentioned, you must bring the person immediately to the nearest hospital for immediate treatment," Cu said.

She added, "The only effective treatment for the illness is antibiotics such as ciprofloxacin (for non-pregnant adults) and ceftriaxone for pregnant patients. Give them plenty of water to rehydrate."