RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The National Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Public Health of Salta issued an epidemiological alert due to the increase in cases of paratyphoid fever -caused by salmonella bacteria- in Salta. It was also reported that 63% of the infections were recorded in children under 15 years of age.
The data, which determined that it is an enteric salmonella subspecies, serovar Paratyphi B, come from a document prepared by the areas of Epidemiology of Salta and the Nation, the Malbrán Laboratory and the Department of Sanitary and Nutritional Surveillance of Food, INAL-Anmat, published a few days ago. There it is detailed that the increase in cases of paratyphoid fever is registered in the province since 2017 and that it shows higher incidence in the warm months.
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In particular this year, the National Health Surveillance System (from epidemiological week 1 to 45) recorded 1088 notifications of typhoid and paratyphoid fever, of which 1069 correspond to residents in the province of Salta, mainly in the capital city and surrounding municipalities.
The highest number of cases occurred in the first weeks of the year, decreasing until the autumn/winter and again recording a sustained increase in the number of cases since epidemiological week 32: in week 45, 100 notifications were reached.
Although cases were reported in all age groups, children are the ones who got sick the most: 63% of infections occurred in children under 15 years of age.
WHAT IS SALMONELLA INFECTION?
Salmonella infection is a systemic bacterial disease characterized by onset of continuous fever, intense headache, general malaise, anorexia, relative bradycardia, splenomegaly, pink spots on the trunk in 25% of white patients, non-productive cough in the early stages of evolution and constipation more commonly than diarrhea in adults.
The most common symptoms of Salmonella infection are:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Abdominal cramps
The Ministry of Health of Salta asked people, in view of the increase in temperature upon the arrival of summer in December, to take precautions in food handling, since bacteria enter the body through the ingestion of contaminated water or food such as beef and poultry, eggs, milk or mayonnaise, as well as fish and seafood.
Among the recommendations are the following:
- Cook food well
- Handle eggs carefully and cook them well
- Avoid foods that may contain raw ingredients
- Keep cooking surfaces clean, especially wooden boards
- Wash hands thoroughly
- Wash cutting boards and knives thoroughly after handling food
- Avoid contact with pet feces
- Do not cook for others when you are sick, especially if you are vomiting or have diarrhea
- Keep food well refrigerated
The national and provincial authorities instructed all health teams to strengthen the clinical epidemiological suspicion of paratyphoid fever in people who meet the case definition, and to inform and sensitize the population on prevention measures and early warning of the appearance of symptoms.
The objectives of epidemiological surveillance are to detect cases early in order to implement diagnosis, treatment and control actions; and to enable and direct epidemiological research aimed at interrupting transmission of the disease.