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August 26, 2009

Addressing the Global Disease Burden of Typhoid Fever

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, Division of Women and Child Health, Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan (Dr Bhutta); and Gastrointestinal, Emerging, and Zoonotic Pathogens, Health Protection Agency Centre for Infections, London, England (Dr Threlfall).

JAMA. 2009;302(8):898-899. doi:10.1001/jama.2009.1259

Salmonella ser Typhi infections are widely recognized as a major cause of morbidity globally, with an estimated 21 million cases and between 200 000 and 600 000 deaths annually.1,2 The divergent estimates likely represent differences in methods used for assessing age-specific burden of typhoid and attributable mortality.3 In some parts of the world, notably South Asia,4 young children represent a subgroup with the highest burden of typhoid and also may have disproportionately high rates of morbidity and complications.5 The report by Lynch et al6 in this issue of JAMA summarizes current knowledge about cases of typhoid fever in the United States and highlights the role of international travel, the need for broader immunization practices, and concerns regarding increases in antibacterial resistance.