Typhoid Fever | Symptoms, Causes & Prevention of Typhoid Fever

Typhoid fever or typhoid is a bacterial infection disease caused by Salmonella typhi bacteria. It is caused by the ingestion of contaminated food or water. However, it is uncommon in developed countries, especially for children, but it remains a serious health problem in developing countries. The symptoms of typhoid fever can range from mild to serious and typically start within 6 to 30 days of exposure.

Within a few days of taking antibiotic medicine, most people who are suffering from typhoid start feeling better. While the vaccinations available for typhoid is partially successful. The vaccinations are also intended for those who might be susceptible to the disease or fly to places where typhoid is prevalent.

typhoid fever through water

Now the question arises, what could be the Typhoid Fever Symptoms?

 Signs and symptoms are likely to slowly develop — sometimes one to three weeks after exposure to the disease. Though there are common signs of typhoid fever and paratyphoid fever. People usually have a sustained fever that can be as high as 103–104 ° F (39–40 ° C) (one that doesn’t come and go).

Other typhoid fever symptoms can be characterized on the basis of early and late illness-

typhoid fever symptoms

EARLY ILLNESS 

  • Headache
  • Sweating
  • Loss of appetite and weight loss
  • Weakness and fatigue
  • Muscle aches
  • Dry cough
  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Rash
  • Swollen abdomen

LATE ILLNESS

 If you don’t get the treatment done at the right time then- You start becoming

  • Delirious
  • Exhaustion and breathing

The condition can become fatal if the complications keep on increasing.

When to See a Doctor?

You should consult a doctor immediately once you suspect to have typhoid fever, or you notice signs and symptoms for the same. You should consult a specialist who is familiar with these areas to diagnose and treat typhoid.

What fall under the Typhoid Fever Causes category?

Causes of Typhoid Fever

Fecal Oral Route Transmission

Typhoid fever is a malignant fever caused by Salmonella typhi bacteria. The typhoid fever spreads through contaminated food or water, and often by direct contact with someone infected. In developing countries typhoid fever is due to polluted drinking water and poor sanitation. While many people in developed countries catch typhoid bacteria while commuting and spread it through the fecal- oral route to others. That means that Salmonella typhi travels through the feces and also through the urine of infected people. If you eat food treated by someone with typhoid fever who hasn’t washed hands after using the toilet, you can contract the infection.

Typhoid Carriers

Even after getting recovered with antibiotics, a small number of people retain bacteria in their intestinal or gastrointestinal tract sometimes and can serve as a causative agent for the fever. These chronic carriers or causative agents release bacteria in their feces and are able to infect others, even if they themselves no longer have signs or symptoms for the disease.

Risk Factors

Most affected countries by typhoid are the developing countries with poor hygiene and sanitation scenes. Worldwide children are prone to diseases with high risk than adults because adults only develop milder symptoms for the same.

Complications

Intestinal Bleeding

The most fatal complication of typhoid fever is intestinal bleeding in the intestine. It develops in the third week of illness. A perforation in intestine occurs when a hole develops in your small intestine or large intestine, allowing intestinal contents to spill through your abdominal cavity, and inducing signs and symptoms such as extreme abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and sepsis. This complication which threatens life needs immediate medical attention.

Other, complications include –

  • Cardiac injury (Myocarditis)
  • Inflammation of the heart lining and the valves (endocarditis)
  • Lung disease
  • Pancreatic Inflammation (pancreatitis)
  • Infections in kidney or bladder

Typhoid Fever Prevention

“Prevention is better than cure”

In many developing countries, it may be difficult to achieve public health targets that can help prevent and manage typhoid fever — safe drinking water, better sanitation ,and sufficient medical care. For that reason, some experts suggest that the only way to eradicate typhoid fever is to vaccinate high-risk populations.

Vaccination

Vaccination can be considered as a boon for typhoid fever in both developing and developed countries. It aids in developing immunity against the bacteria inside the body that helps in preventing the disease to happen.

Two Vaccines available for Typhoid fever are –

  1. One is injected at least one week before traveling in a single
  2. One is delivered orally in four capsules, with one capsule taken every other

None of the vaccines is 100 percent safe, and both require repeated immunizations as the efficacy of the vaccine declines with time.

How can we treat typhoid fever? What comes under typhoid fever treatments?

Typhoid fever is treated with antibiotics that destroy the Salmonella bacteria. Until antibiotics were used, the fatality rate was 20%. Death was caused by excessive influenza, pneumonia, intestinal bleeding or, bowel perforation. Mortality has been reduced to 1% -2% with antibiotics and supporting treatment. Usually, there is improvement within one to two days with the required antibiotic treatment and recovery within seven to 10 days. For typhoid fever treatment, many antibiotics are available. For several years, chloramphenicol was the prime drug of choice. Chloramphenicol has been substituted by other effective antibiotics, due to unusual severe side effects.

Those that become chronically ill can be treated with sustained antibiotics (about 3 percent -5 percent of those infected). The removal of the gallbladder, which is the source of chronic infection, will also provide a remedy.

When suffering from Typhoid fever the major concern arises is food, what to eat and what to avoid?

Here we present you the Typhoid Fever diet which can be very useful and easy to follow

  1. For easy digestion, semi-solid food is
  2. Increase the intake of
  3. High Calorie diet is also
  4. Consumption of dairy products such as milk and
  5. An adequate amount of water

FAQs

Ques 1– Which bacteria are responsible for Typhoid Fever?

Ans – Typhoid fever is caused by Salmonella enterica serotype Typhi

Ques 2- What are the typhoid fever causes?

Ans- Typhoid Fever causes can be ingestion of contaminated food or water.

Ques 3- What are the typhoid fever symptoms?

Ans – Typhoid fever Symptoms are poor appetite, headaches, aches, and fever, etc.

Ques 4 – What comes under typhoid fever treatment?

Ans- Antibiotics are the prime source for treating typhoid fever is the prime choice for typhoid. Vaccinations are also used for preventing typhoid fever.

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Dr. Divaanshu Gupta

Dr. Divaanshu Gupta is a cardiac anaesthesiologist in Manipal Hospital, Jaipur. He has done his M.B.B.S. as well as M.D. Anaesthesia from S.M.S. Medical College. He has a vast experience of working in various critical care units of government as well as corporate hospitals.