Superbug typhoid fever is again spreading tentacles in Sindh
A silent killer disease is on the rise in Sindh, including Karachi. The spread of the disease, 'superbug' typhoid fever, has rung alarm bells but the provincial government seems least interested to do the due.
The superbug typhoid fever is characterised by a virus that does not respond to most antibiotics.
“The disease is caused by the excessive consumption of antibiotics,” Sindh Health Minister Dr Azra Pechuho said while speaking at the floor of the Sindh Assembly. She was replying to a question by MPA Imran Shah.
“The provincial government had vaccinated 116,000 children, aged between six months and 10 years, against the disease.”
The minister told the House that contaminated water was one of the reasons for the spread of superbug typhoid in Karachi.
The health department said the virus had adversely affected children in parts of Karachi, including Saddar, Liaquatabad, North Karachi and Lyari, and Hyderabad’s Latifabad.
Dr Umar Sultan said drinking contaminated water is the prime cause of this disease and cases are being reported in interior Sindh in large numbers.
Medical practitioners advise precaution in this connection. “Doctors should give a second thought before finalising a prescription as antibiotics are triggering the disease,” an experts said. “The superbug typhoid may turn out to be fatal.”
Paediatric surgeon Professor Iqbal Memon said the virus may spark complexities in the liver, intestines, brain and blood.
Doctors are worried over the undue consumption of antibiotics. Paediatrician Dr Fariddun told SAMAA TV that the use of antibiotic medicines has reached an alarming level. You can purchase antibiotics even from a paan shop, he said.
The superbug typhoid fever took several lives in February last year. In July last year, the US had issued a travel advisory to its citizens visiting friends or relatives in Pakistan after an outbreak of the typhoid fever. The United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention had issued a level-2 alert, asking travelers to “practice enhanced precautions”.
Minimise typhoid risk
You can take the following steps to minimise the risk of contracting typhoid fever.
1. Wash your hands often, especially before eating and after using the bathroom.
2. Boil water before drinking or disinfect it by filtering or chemically treating it.
3. Avoid eating food prepared by someone who is sick or has been sick.
4. Avoid street food.
5. Raw fruits or vegetables should be avoided unless you can peel them or wash them with clean water.
6. Avoid salads if possible as shredded or finely cut vegetables offer a lot of surface area for germs to grow on.
7. Also avoid fresh salsas or other condiments made from raw fruits or vegetables.
8. Avoid raw meat or seafood as they may contain germs.