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Health Officials Document First Sexual Transmission of Typhoid in U.S.

April 26, 2001

The CDC labeled typhoid a sexually transmitted disease for the first time this week at a conference in Atlanta, urging infected patients to stop all sexual contact until they are clear of the disease. The rare disease is most often transmitted by swallowing food and water contaminated with human feces, which harbors a type of salmonella that causes typhoid. CDC investigators said a Cincinnati man passed typhoid to seven other men he had sex with last summer. The Cincinnati man caught typhoid during a trip to Puerto Rico in May, though it is unclear how.

The disease was likely transmitted by highly risky oral-anal contact among the men, said Megan Reller, an epidemiologist with the CDC. An eighth man, from Indianapolis, caught typhoid after visiting the Cincinnati man for the weekend. He said they did not have sex, so how he got typhoid is unclear. Health officials found that none of the seven men shared food or drink. The men were uncooperative with health officials, making it impossible to estimate how many other men might have been exposed, Reller said.

About 400 cases of typhoid are reported annually in the United States, four-fifths of which can be traced to overseas travel. Typhoid is preventable by a vaccine recommended to Americans who visit developing nations. Symptoms of typhoid are high fever, weakness, headache and in some cases flat, red spots on the skin. The disease is treatable with antibiotics but is occasionally fatal for victims who do not seek treatment.


Back to other CDC news for April 26, 2001

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Adapted from:
Associated Press
04.25.01; Erin McClam



  
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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
 


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