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Superbug typhoid fever rings alarm bells in Sindh

Superbug typhoid fever is again spreading tentacles in Sindh

SAMAA | - Posted: Jan 31, 2019 | Last Updated: 2 years ago
Posted: Jan 31, 2019 | Last Updated: 2 years ago

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.

Related: US issues travel advisory for Pakistan over drug-resistant Typhoid outbreak

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.”

Related: With a 99% success rate, anti-polio campaign highlights the dedication of Pakistan’s health workers

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.
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  1. Tanveer channa  February 1, 2019 11:51 am/ Reply

    The said precautions are common tags for daily life ..for the due disease as it is described by our leaders and doctors it may have the life of peoples ..they must initiate the seminar and campaign fir its awareness. And also establish the team if professional doctors to find out its main cause and cure

  2. Syed Fahad Shamim  February 1, 2019 2:50 pm/ Reply

    I am suffering from exactly same situation, where antibiotics are not effecting my fever.

    • Dr. Ismail Ahmed.  February 1, 2019 4:38 pm/ Reply

      Please get your blood culture test done ASAP from any reputed lab and visit a physician!

  3. Dr. Ismail Ahmed.  February 1, 2019 4:36 pm/ Reply

    “a virus that cannot be cured by an antibiotic”
    Why should a virus be defeated by antibiotic?
    That’s what doctors are doing in Pakistan (prescribing anti biotic for every seasonal viral disease which would go away even without them and at situations where anti biotics aren’t required) which is causing the bugs to become superbugs.
    Firstly Salmonella typhi is not a virus but bacterium which DOES respond to CORRECT antibiotic therapy. The alarm is it’s drug resistance to antibiotics that previously would treat it but not anymore. Only last 2 drugs are left after which there will be no treatment for this super bug, millions will die.
    And this study was done by genius pathologists from Aga Khan University and reported last year probably in January. My daughter suffered the same super bug and got treated Alhamdulilah. I was contacted by Aga Khan University pathologist while in London last year Feb for consent.

  4. Kishore Kumar  February 1, 2019 10:32 pm/ Reply

    Issue subcity for pure water plant all over sindh and free vaccine for tyfide

  5. Imran Kabooro  February 2, 2019 3:22 pm/ Reply

    This is very informative. Doctors’ aim should be towards prevention rather than cure. As most of the doctors are used to medicate the common diseases by providing excessive antibiotic drugs to patients. Excessive use of antibiotic directly effects immune system that results weakness in WBCs to fight with diseases. So use of antibiotic MUST be avoided in order to be saved from such diseases….

  6. Anonymous  February 2, 2019 7:47 pm/ Reply

    It is bacterila disease…No viral

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