No increase in typhoid cases recorded
Stabroek News
May 11, 2007

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There has been no increase in the number of reports on the incidents of typhoid in and around the city the Minister of Health Dr Leslie Ramsammy said.

Ramsammy was responding to a question from GAP/ROAR Parliamentarian Everall Franklin at a recent sitting of parliament. Ramsammy said the ministry's surveillance system did not indicate an increase in cases for the year within and without the city. Further, he said, parliament should know that the ministry has developed an enhanced surveillance programme which allows it to establish incidences of specific diseases.

The minister said that between 2000 and 2004 the annual average of reported cases was 360 while the reported cases in 2005 were 241. This number was higher than the projected annual rate but below the intermediate projected annual rate. He pointed out that because of the great flood of 2005 it was expected that such diseases would have increased. Ramsammy said the cases were based on reported symptoms but "Hospitals and doctors' offices rarely do any confirmatory tests."

Typhoid fever or typhoid is a bacterial disease of insidious onset and later sustained fever, with severe headaches, malaise and occasionally constipation or infrequent diarrhoea. A milder form of the infection is called paratyphoid fever and is recognised with similar, but milder or no symptoms. Transmission occurs when contaminated faeces or urine enters water or food. Treatment requires admission to hospital, fluid therapy and salt as appropriate. The bacterium is controlled with antibiotics and in very rare cases steroid medicines are also included in the treatment.