Although distribution of disease-causing germs for typhoid fever is not uniform across Ibadan, East and North of Ibadan are hot spots for typhoid fever, a study has said.
Professor Iruka Okeke, Principal Investigator of the study tagged :“Severe Typhoid in Africa (SETA-Nigeria) Project,” said the risk of contracting typhoid fever is higher if living in these places because of the poor sanitation and contaminated wells.
She stated that household water contamination was more common in Ibadan Northeast even though the burden of typhoid fever was not uniform across the year, but seasonal in Ibadan.
According to her, “typhoid fever cases tend to peak around June and July and another pick sometimes around November.”
Professor Okeke said that typhoid fever is a severe life-threatening infection that when it becomes invasive could cause perforation of the intestine.
“In terms of intestinal perforations, Nigeria was second to Burkina Faso,” she added
The bacteria geneticists declared “this is probably because certain individuals are more genetically at risk of having perforation when they have typhoid fever than others.
“The strain of the germ that causes typhoid fever in Nigeria is also different. Our study also keeps pointing that nutrition may play a role in these perforations.”
The expert, however, said the burden of typhoid fever was increasing particularly in Africa and West Africa even as the amount of expertise and the required resources by the patient and facility to manage the case are huge.
She declared that it was more cost-effective that all suspected cases of typhoid fever be confirmed with blood culture and not just merely the use of prescription drugs.
“You end up using expensive antimicrobials, patients end up spending a long time in the hospital and so on,” she added.
According to her, “we need blood cultures to be able to identify patients that may have typhoid fever so that they can be treated early and that they do not have intestinal perforations. We need it also so that we can collect data that can be used to improve empirical treatment.
Professor Okeke said typhoid is a feaco-oral transmitted disease that could be controlled with improved sanitation and water sources.
She added: “While we are struggling to deal with sanitation and water, there is the typhoid conjugate vaccine which is just launched can be adopted to protect people.”