Ottawa Public Health warns of locally acquired cases of typhoid fever

According to a statement posted on the DPO website, symptoms or signs of this type of fever are present in those who may have a history of travel to an endemic country.

Ottawa Public Health (OPH) is warning residents of the capital of possible cases of typhoid fever.

According to a statement posted on the DPO website, symptoms or signs of this type of fever are present in those who may have a history of travel to an endemic country.

OPH says that between October 2018 and February 2022, they received reports of five cases with similar whole genome sequencing in Ottawa residents who appear to have been acquired locally.

Typhoid fever or otherwise known as Salmonella Typhi is transmitted by the fecal-oral route through consumption of contaminated food or water or through direct contact. A chronic carrier state can develop in about two to five percent of those infected, according to public health.

On average, notes SPO, four cases of typhoid fever contracted abroad are reported per year in Ottawa. Local acquisition, they say, is unexpected and rare.

The presentation and severity of typhoid fever can vary depending on the onset of symptoms which are usually insidious and begin three to 60 days (and the usual range is eight to 14 days) after exposure.

Signs and symptoms may include high fever, headache, fatigue, anorexia, abdominal pain, diarrhea or constipation (the latter more common in adults; vomiting and diarrhea more common in children), hepatosplenomegaly or intestinal bleeding in severe cases, and more occasionally, Transient pink maculopapular truncal spots observed during the first week of fever. Blood culture is most sensitive during the first week of illness, before antibiotics are started.

OPH says any possible suspected case of typhoid fever should be reported immediately to Public Health at 613-580-2424, ext. 24224.

Outside business hours, on weekends or on statutory holidays, the public can contact 3-1-1.

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