XDR Typhoid in Pakistan: cases, causes and prevention

XDR typhoid began in 2016 and has now affected more than 5,200 people - WHO

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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. As well as that, it has now affected about 5200 people across the country.

What is XDR Typhoid?

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.

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XDR Typhoid in Pakistan Source: WHO

 

There have been few cases of XDR Typhoid 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.

Causes and prevention:

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.

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XDR Typhoid in Pakistan Source: WHO

 

WHO and concerned health departments have urged people to watch their food consumption and be careful about what they eat.

“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.

How to protect yourself:

  1. Wash your hands before eating food.

  2. Wash hands after using the washroom.

  3. Avoid eating raw fruits or vegetables if not properly washed.

  4. Get yourself and your loved ones vaccinated against typhoid fever.

  5. Avoid eating outdoor food especially from the centres or stalls or vendors who do not follow point 1,2,3 and 4.

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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