Typhoid Fever Among Workers in a Shoe

aoyuan County Health Bureau

1986 Vol.2 NO.1

Correspondence Author:


During the period July-August 1985, an outbreak of typhoid fever occurred among 230 workers in a shoe factory in Taoyuan County. Twenty-five (11%) workers were culture-positive for Salmonella typhi. Of these, 22 had symptoms which included fever 38℃ (89%), diarrhea (79%), headache (74%), malaise (60%), and anorexia (60%). All symptomatic culture-positive workers were hospitalized and treated with intravenous chloramphenicol for 2 weeks followed by oral chioramphenicol until stool cultures became negative; there were no fatalities. A questionnaire was administered to all factory employees and an additional 22 workers with symptoms compatible with typhoid fever were identified (a suspect case of typhoid fever was defined as 3 or more of the following symptoms since June: fever, headache, diarrhea, anorexia, malaise, or chills). The dates of onset showed a sharp increase in cases in mid-July followed by a broader peak lasting several weeks in mid-August (Figure 1). Fifteen (60%) of 25 culture-positive cases occurred among students who began summer jobs in the factory in June. The proportion of culture- positive cases among student workers was significantly higher than among regular employees (15 out of 31 compared to 10 out of 199, respectively; p<10-6, chi-square).