State health officials in Oklahoma are monitoring a cluster of typhoid fever cases that has been traced to a single family as the source of the outbreak. Officials emphasize that there is no indication that these cases are a public health threat or that there is a risk of transmission at this point. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that most confirmed cases in the U.S. occur when a person is exposed to Salmonella Typhi overseas; only about 400 cases occur in the U.S each year.
Immunization against typhoid fever is recommended for those who travel to areas where the disease is still common, such as parts of Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Travelers to these areas are also advised to avoid foods that may be contaminated, like raw fruits or vegetables that cannot be peeled and to drink bottled or boiled water. Typhoid infection is usually treated with antibiotics and symptoms may dissipate within a few days with early treatment, but can be fatal without proper medical care.
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