Health Emergency: XDR Typhoid in Pakistan

Pakistan faces another health emergency as a unique type of typhoid emerges in the region. Extensively Drug Resistant (XDR) typhoid emerged for the first time in Sindh’s Hyderabad in 2016. Ever since then, due to the failure to act promptly and effectively, the situation has worsened. A number of cases of this threatening virus have emerged across the province.

The most deadly aspect of this strain of typhoid is that it is AMR (antimicrobial resistant) and can survive to most of the popular antibiotics. The doctors had a hard time detecting the issue and due to the delay in actual diagnosis and identification, the disease has become a global concern.

Source: WHO

There have been few cases reported outside the province as well. They are the travel-associated XDR cases.

  • Two of the cases travelled to Karachi, Lahore, and Islamabad.
  • One case travelled only to Karachi.
  • One case pending confirmation, is a resident from Lahore with travel history to the US where he/she was diagnosed and treated. The case has since returned to Pakistan.

The cause can be associated with the consumption of contaminated food and unchlorinated water. As the World Health Organization (WHO) identifies, the children can possibly be getting it due to eating food from the pushcarts, which use tap water to prepare the items. WHO and concerned health departments have urged people to watch their food consumption and be careful about what they eat.

Source: WHO

“XDR typhoid cases have surpassed the 8,000 figure, with most cases being reported from Karachi, followed by Hyderabad, Sanghar, and the adjoining districts” – says Dr. Zafar Mehdi from Sindh Health Department.

WHO report also said the organization is taking a number of steps, including awareness campaigns and training, to combat the issue. However, has also directed the people to act vigilantly with the prevention and if not it, then the initial symptoms.

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