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Typhoid fever cases confirmed in Oklahoma

Health officials in Oklahoma are investigating a cluster of typhoid fever cases. The Oklahoma Health Department is monitoring a handful of patients in Garfield County, north of Oklahoma City.

Few details have been revealed, but officials did disclose that they'd traced the source of the outbreak to a single family in the county, according to the CBS Oklahoma City affiliate News 9.

"There isn't any indication of the risk of transmission or any threat to the community at this point," Oklahoma State Department of Health spokesperson Tommy Sellars told the station.

Sellars said the illness is uncommon in the state and very few people there are ever diagnosed with it. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says most cases reported in this country happen when a person is exposed overseas.

"Primarily any case of typhoid that we see in the United States is a result of international travel to visit a country that is underdeveloped or has less stringent sanitary and hygiene standards than we have," Sellars said.

"It's either borne through food or water consumption around someone who has the typhoid bacteria and coming in contact with their feces or something in the food or water," Sellars explained.

Symptoms of typhoid include high fever, headache, abdominal pain and loss of appetite. The disease can be treated with antibiotics, and most people can recover from symptoms within a few days if treated early. However, without proper treatment, the fever may persist for weeks or even months, and can be fatal.

There is a vaccine for typhoid fever, which is recommended for people who travel to parts of Africa, Asia and Latin America where the disease is still common. The CDC also urges travelers in those areas to be careful to avoid foods that might be unsanitary, such as any raw fruit or vegetable that cannot be peeled, and to drink bottled or boiled water.

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