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Oct 2023

What you should know about typhoid fever

Posted By Suborna Fermi Posted on Oct 25, 2023

Typhoid fever is a viral illness that causes high fever, vomiting, and other flu-like symptoms. This viral infection spreads through contaminated food and water. Typhoid can be completely treated with antibiotics, but it can also be life-threatening if left undiagnosed.

What is typhoid fever?

Typhoid fever is a bacterial infection that is caused by Salmonella typhi (S.typhi). This virus affects the intestine and causes high-grade fever, stomach pain, and other symptoms. Children are more likely to get infected with typhoid.

What are the symptoms of typhoid?

The symptoms may take one or two weeks to appear after the infection. The most common symptoms of typhoid may include:

  • High fever
  • Chills
  • Headache
  • Weakness
  • Stomach pain
  • Low appetite
  • Constipation
  • Muscle aches
  • Diarrhea
  • Rashes

Serious cases of typhoid may include intestine bleeding, which can cause a bloodstream infection (sepsis).

How does it spread?

Typhoid spreads through water and food contaminated with the S. typhi virus. You can get infected with thai virus if a person with typhoid touches your food or water without washing their hands. This can also happen if waste water gets into the water you drink. An infected person can also spread the virus if they touch surfaces without washing their hands after using the bathroom.

How is typhoid diagnosed?

To diagnose typhoid fever, your doctor will first ask about your symptoms and recommend certain diagnostic tests. Blood tests, urine tests or stool tests are generally recommended to diagnose typhoid fever.

How is typhoid fever treated?

Typhoid can be fully treated with antibiotics. Certain new types of viruses can stay in the body even after antibiotic treatment. This is why doctors prescribe different types of antibiotics depending on the type of typhoid infection you have. Paratyphoid fever is also treated with antibiotics.

How long does typhoid fever last?

Typhoid fever may last 7 to 10 days if treated right after the symptoms appear. Typhoid fever may also last for about 3 weeks or longer if treatment starts later. Also, recovery depends on the health of individuals.

How can I prevent typhoid?

Here are a few ways in which you can prevent typhoid fever. Effective ways include:

  • Always try to drink filtered water, or boil the water for about 1 minute before drinking.
  • Make sure to wash vegetables and fruits before eating them.
  • Avoid eating cut fruits from the street vendors.
  • Do not eat raw or uncooked meat, fish, and eggs.
  • Always wash your hands with soap and water frequently, especially after using washroom facilities.
  • Use sanitizer if washing your hands is not feasible.

Serious typhoid fever causes about 128,000 to 160,000 deaths per year worldwide. This is why you should make sure to get vaccinated against typhoid to prevent it.