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January 14, 2019

US travel alert for Pakistan over outbreak of drug-resistant typhoid

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January 14, 2019

ISLAMABAD: The US health officials have issued a travel alert for Pakistan over an outbreak of drug-resistant typhoid.

According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there is an ongoing outbreak of extensively drug-resistant (XDR) typhoid fever in Pakistan that does not respond to most antibiotics.

"During 2018, cases have been reported in the United Kingdom and in the United States among travellers returning from Pakistan. All travellers to Pakistan are at risk of getting XDR typhoid fever, while those visiting friends or relatives are at higher risk than tourists and business travellers," the CDC said in an advisory.

The centre asked travellers to South Asia, including Pakistan, to take precautions to protect themselves from typhoid fever, including getting a typhoid fever vaccination, besides taking extra care to follow safe food and water guidelines.

It revealed that Pakistan health officials had reported an ongoing outbreak of XDR typhoid fever that began in Hyderabad in November 2016.

"The strain of Salmonella Typhi does not respond to most antibiotics used to treat typhoid fever. The outbreak has spread to the city of Karachi and to multiple districts, and several deaths have been reported. "In 2018, three cases of XDR typhoid fever were reported in travellers — one who returned to the United Kingdom, and two who returned to United States," it said. The CDC said typhoid fever was a serious disease caused by the bacterium Salmonella Typhi that was spread by contaminated food and water.

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