Typhoid fever is a life-threatening illness caused by the bacterium Salmonella Typhi.
There have been 34 cases of typhoid disease reported in Kuala Lumpur since August 2015. Meanwhile, from January to October 20, 94 cases have been reported involving seven states in Malaysia.
Salmonella Typhi lives only in humans. Persons with typhoid fever carry the bacteria in their bloodstream and intestinal tract. In addition, a small number of persons, called carriers, recover from typhoid fever but continue to carry the bacteria. Both ill persons and carriers shed Salmonella Typhi in their faeces.
Typhoid fever is more common in areas where hand washing is less frequent and water is likely to be contaminated with sewage.
Antabax, a trusted and innovative antibacterial personal care range has been championing good hygiene as a first step to good health especially in reducing the risk of communicable diseases spread by unclean hands.
The company stepped up to offer fast facts and a refresher on the seven steps of good hand hygiene in light of the recent rise of typhoid fever cases via its Facebook fan page.
Transmission of Typhoid Fever
Typhoid fever can be transmitted through contaminated food and beverages handled by an infected person or a carrier who hasn’t washed their hands carefully after using the washroom. Another method of transmission is through direct contact from a person is who infected with typhoid. There is also high chance of infection through the faecal-oral-route meaning that it can be passed through faeces of an infected person.
Some simple precautions should be taken to reduce the risk of contracting typhoid fever including drinking boiled or bottled water, avoiding raw foods with suspect preparation, cleaning and washing fruits and vegetables thoroughly before consuming, and getting vaccinated against typhoid. Washing hands before and after eating or preparing food, and after going to the toilet is one of the simplest and most effective methods to reduce the risk of transmission and contracting typhoid.
Persons with typhoid fever usually have a sustained fever as high as 39° to 40° C. They may also feel weak, or have stomach pains, headache, or loss of appetite. In some cases, patients have a rash of flat, rose-coloured spots. If you have any of these symptoms it is advised to visit a medical professional.
The only way to know for sure if an illness is typhoid fever is to have samples of stool or blood tested for the presence of Salmonella Typhi.
According to Lam Soon Edible Oils Sdn Bhd, Group Product Manager, Household & Personal Care, Marketing Division, Ms Angeline Sim, Malaysians are more aware of the need for hand washing and are putting it into practice more diligently.
“The better understanding and practice of hand hygiene could be helping to reduce the risk of transmission of typhoid, as well as the quick action on the part of the authorities to vaccinate food handlers. Antabax recommends that all of us practice the seven steps of hand washing to reduce risk of communicable diseases that can be spread via hands. Learn the correct steps of handwashing and practice it each time we wash our hands – it only takes 20 seconds and can help us maintain better health,” Ms Sim said.
Antabax has a full range of antibacterial products that are available nationwide including body wash, hand wash, bar soap, hand sanitiser gel and spray as well as cleansing wipes that will come in handy for personal hygiene needs.
Sidebar references on symptoms etc are taken from SA Health, Government of South Australia http://www.sahealth.sa.gov.au/wps/wcm/connect/public+content/sa+health+internet/health+topics/health+conditions+prevention+and+treatment/infectious+diseases/exclusion+from+childcare+preschool+school+and+work