Channel NewsAsia reported this morning that residents of the island of Zumarraga in the central Philippines are suffering from an outbreak of typhoid. About 150 people have been hospitalized so far. Fortunately, no deaths have been reported.
This is the second typhoid outbreak in the Philippines so far this year. In February, the town of Calamba, south of Manila, experienced an outbreak that hospitalized nearly 1,500 people.
Health authorities suspect that the current typhoid outbreak is being spread through contaminated water. According to the Channel NewsAsia report, heavy rains carried raw sewage into the area's drinking water wells.
Typhoid, like cholera, can break out in areas hit by natural or man-made disasters – earthquakes, floods, tsunamis, war – that disrupt the supply of safe drinking water. I'm looking into some devices that can be used in these types of situations to provide a safer water supply, and will be reporting in the next few days on what I find.