SEOUL, Feb. 28 (Korea Bizwire) – The KCDC has advised travelers headed to Southeast Asia to exercise particular caution so as to avoid contracting typhoid fever and shigellosis.
According to the KCDC, from the beginning of January to February 26 there were 68 cases of typhoid fever and 79 reports of shigellosis among South Koreans. During the same period last year, there were 14 and 24 cases, respectively.
Of these patients, 110 or 74.8 percent were found to have traveled through Southeast Asia sometime from December through February (40 typhoid fever, 70 shigellosis).
The KCDC has outlined measures travelers can take to minimize the risk of contracting foodborne illnesses and diseases caused by coming into contact with contaminated water.
The organization is urging South Koreans travelling to Vietnam, the Philippines, and other countries in the Southeast Asian region to wash their hands with soap for thirty seconds minimum, avoid uncooked food, stick to bottled water and beverages, abstain from street food and wash fruit and vegetables in running water and peel them before consumption.
After returning from foreign travels, those experiencing abdominal pains and diarrhea as well as fever should inform their physicians of their recent travel history before being prescribed treatment.
Typhoid fever is caused by the bacterium Salmonella typhi. Those afflicted can suffer from symptoms of high fever, headaches, constipation or diarrhea, and roseola that typically arise three to 60 days after infection.
Shigellosis is an infectious disease similar to typhoid fever caused by bacteria called Shigella. A more quick-moving disease, within a day a person who is infected can suffer from high fever, nausea and abdominal pain.
Under normal circumstances, 100 to 300 cases of both typhoid fever and shigellosis are reported domestically every year.