Typhoid on the rise in Malaysian capital

Kuala Lumpur, Oct 20 (IANS) Typhoid fever cases have seen a sudden spike in Malaysia with 32 cases reported in the capital Kuala Lumpur since August, the health ministry said on Tuesday.

Health Ministry Director-General Noor Hisham Abdullah said that since the first week of August, the Kuala Lumpur health department had received seven cases of typhoid fever, the Malaysian Star reported.

According to Abdullah, those stricken were mostly construction workers living in Cheras township and near the city centre. By Sunday, the number of cases was up to 32 with Titiwangsa having the most at 16, followed by Kepong (eight), Lembah Pantai (four) and Cheras (eight).

No deaths have been reported so far.

More than 37 contract workers, including family members, colleagues and food vendors, are being monitored and 24 food premises checked.

The ministry urged the people to give full priority to the cleanliness level of food and drinks, the restaurants and their workers, adding that “food that is freshly cooked should be their main choice”.

Typhoid fever is caused by the bacteria salmonella typhi and is spread by food or water contaminated with excreta from an infected person. The symptoms include abdominal pain, fever, headache and fatigue.

Older children and adults are usually constipated whereas younger children may have diarrhoea.

Humans are the only species affected by typhoid.

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