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Cases of typhoid, paratyphoid fevers on rise: CDC

TAIPEI -- The numbers of typhoid fever and paratyphoid fever cases reported in Taiwan so far this year are both higher compared with the same period of the past three years, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said Wednesday, urging the public to pay attention to food safety and personal hygiene.

A total of seven typhoid fever cases and four paratyphoid fever cases have been confirmed since the beginning of the year, the CDCsaid.

From 2011 to 2013, the numbers of typhoid fever cases were one, two and six, respectively, during the same period, while those of paratyphoid fever were one, three and zero, it said.

Because five out of the seven typhoid fever cases and all four paratyphoid fever cases found this year were contracted overseas, the CDC warned the public to be on particular alert when traveling to South Asian and Southeast Asian countries, the main areas where the cases were traced to.

People traveling overseas should avoid raw food or food purchased from street vendors, consume only boiled or bottled water and maintain good personal hygiene habits to prevent infection, it said.

Typhoid fever and paratyphoid fever are primarily transmitted through the fecal-oral route by ingesting contaminated food or water or coming into contact with things that have the bacteria on them, according to the CDC.

Common symptoms of the two diseases include persistent fever, headache, general discomfort, loss of appetite, rash, abdominal pain, constipation or diarrhea, it said.

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