THE Health Ministry recorded 291 typhoid cases from January to August this year, up 85 cases compared to the whole of last year.
Ministry spokesman Shalvin Deo said typhoid fever had been consistently high in the Central Division, particularly in Suva and the Serua and Namosi subdivisions.
He said the most affected age group were from 10 to 39-year olds.
"There are more males affected than women and other medical areas reporting sporadic number of cases are Rewa and Naitasiri," Mr Deo said.
He said typhoid was a bacterial disease caused by Salmonella typhi and transmitted through the ingestion of food or drink contaminated by the faeces or urine of infected people.
"Once the bacteria enters the person's body, they multiply and spread from the intestines into the bloodstream.
"Symptoms usually develop one to three weeks after exposure, and may be mild or severe.
"They include high fever, malaise, headache, constipation or diarrhoea and rose-coloured spots on the chest."
He said the best way to control the infection was through frequent hand-washing.
"Wash your hands thoroughly with hot, soapy water, especially before eating or preparing food and after using the toilet.
"Carry an alcohol-based hand sanitiser for times when water isn't available."
Mr Deo also urged members of the public to refrain from drinking untreated water.
"If you drink water, buy it bottled or bring it to a rolling boil for one minute before you drink it.
"Ask for drinks without ice unless the ice is made from bottled or boiled water.
"Avoid popsicles and flavoured ices that may have been made with contaminated water."
Mr Deo also urged members of the public to eat food that had been thoroughly cooked.
"Avoid food and vegetables that cannot be peeled otherwise when you eat raw fruit or vegetables that can be peeled, peel them yourself.
"Do not eat the peelings.
"Vegetables like lettuce are easily contaminated and are very hard to wash well."