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Typhoid fever in Ujung Pandang, Indonesia – high-risk groups and high-risk behaviours

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We performed a hospital-based case-control study to identify high-risk groups and routes of transmission of typhoid fever in the city of Ujung Pandang on the island of Sulawesi, Indonesia. The annual incidence of this disease in southern Sulawesi is estimated at 3.1/1000 and the case fatality at 5.1% Cases were 50 patients over 13 years of age admitted to Stella Maris Hospital with a diagnosis of typhoid fever between June and September 1991. Diagnosis was made on clinical grounds and in 90% of cases confirmed by a Widal test.

Controls were 42 patients admitted for non-infectious disorders during the same period and individually matched by age and sex. Controls did not have a history of typhoid fever. Interviews took place in hospital. Analysis was by unconditional logistic regression. High-risk groups consisted of those who were single, unemployed and those who had a university education. Median age of cases was 22 years. Consumption of food from warungs (food stalls in the street) was strongly associated with risk (OR = 45). Both cases and controls washed hands after use of the toilet and before meals, but cases used soap significantly less often (OR = 30). The results of this study can be used to take preventive measures against this severe disease of educated and single young adults by targetting them for IEC-activities emphasizing the importance of thorough hand-washing and the need to take care in the selection of street-foods.
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Keywords: Indonesia; Typhoid; epidemiology; food contamination and handwashing; risk factors

Document Type: Original Article

Affiliations: 1: Nijmegen Institute for International Health, Nijmegen University, The Netherlands, 2: Department of Social Geography, Nijmegen University, The Netherlands, 3: Department of Medicine, Stella Maris Hospital, Ujung Pandang, Indonesia

Publication date: November 1, 1997

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