What is Typhoid fever?

Fevers can be confusing. Most of the febrile illnesses exhibit uniform symptoms which makes self-diagnosis nearly impossible. Typhoid fever is a type of fever resulting from a bacterial infection. The bacteria causing this fever is called Salmonella typhi(S.typhi). Also, the same kind of fever with less intensity is caused by a bacteria named Salmonella Paratyphi. Typhoid is usually seen in developing countries or under-developed countries where sanitation is poor and clean water and food are scarce. It can be life-threatening if not diagnosed and treated at the right time.

How do you get Typhoid fever?

Typhoid fever can be caused in 2 ways.

  • Bacteria to Human: The bacteria can enter a person’s body directly through contaminated food or water
  • Human to human: By having close contact with a patient infected with Typhoid.

Once the bacteria get access into a body, it keeps multiplying in the gallbladder, bile ducts or liver and passes into the bowel. They live and are transmitted through human faeces and urine. The bacteria also spread into the bloodstream.

Are you exhibiting these symptoms?

The incubation period of typhoid fever is from 1 to 2 weeks and the infection disease can stay for 3-4 weeks in a body.

Symptoms:

  • Headaches
  • Diarrhoea or constipation
  • Weakness
  • Stomach pain
  • High fever
  • Loss of appetite
  • Pain in several parts of the body
  • Fatigue

How can you get treated?

Typhoid fever is diagnosed by testing human faeces, urine or blood. It is usually remedied with antibiotics. If not treated, 1 in 5 cases could be fatal. Apart from antibiotics, it is very important to stay hydrated during the period of illness.

How to protect yourself from Typhoid fever?

  • For the starters, Typhoid vaccines are available. If travelling to areas prone to typhoid fever, vaccinate yourself.
  • Typhoid is spread through contaminated food and water. Only drink boiled or bottled water, especially while travelling.
  • Always wash your hands before and after food.
  • Avoid consuming raw food and go for cooked food. Avoid eating street food.

A small percentage of fully recovered patients can be carriers of this bacteria for a long time. The illness can be transmitted through these carriers. But usually, bacteria causing typhoid fever can be eradicated from your body within 2 to 4 weeks of proper medication.

Almost everyone who gets prompt treatment shows improvement in less than a week. Without the right treatment, typhoid can even cause life-threatening intestinal bleeding and perforation. Typhoid causes nearly 200,000 deaths every year all around the world. This is the reason why precautions are important. Once you encounter with any symptoms, get medical assistance as soon as possible and start medication.

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