Salmonella typhi is the bacterium that causes typhoid fever. Typhoid fever is rare in developed countries. In the underdeveloped world, it remains a major health hazard, particularly for children. Typhoid fever is caused by contaminated food and water, as well as intimate contact with an infected individual. Signs and symptoms generally include:
- High fever
- Stomach Pain
- Constipation or diarrhea
Most people with typhoid fever feel better a few days after starting antibiotics, but a small number of them can die from complications. Typhoid vaccines are only partially effective. Vaccines are generally reserved for those who may be exposed to the disease or who travel to areas where typhoid fever is common.
What Is Typhoid Fever?
Typhoid fever is an infection caused by the bacteria Salmonella typhi. This germ affects the intestinal tract and the bloodstream. It is an acute illness associated with fever caused by the bacterium Salmonella enterica serotype Typhi. It can also be caused by Salmonella paratyphi, a related bacterium that generally causes less serious illness. The bacteria are deposited in water or food by a human carrier and then spread to other people in the area.
The incidence of typhoid fever in the United States has declined markedly since the early 1900s when tens of thousands of cases were reported in the United States. Mexico and South America. This improvement is the result of better environmental sanitation. India, Pakistan, and Egypt are also known as high-risk areas for developing this disease. Worldwide, typhoid fever affects more than 21 million people annually, and about 200,000 people die from the disease.
How Can You Know If You Have Typhoid Fever?
- High fever (103º - 104ºF)
- Stomach pain
- Diarrhea or constipation (very common)
- Loss of appetite and severe weight loss.
- Rash with flat pink spots in pale-skinned people.
- Some people do not show any signs or symptoms and are called carriers.
How Is Typhoid Fever Spread?
You can get typhoid fever if you consume or drink food or fluids that have been contaminated with the germ's feces or urine. If sewage containing the germ enters the water used for drinking or washing food, the germ will spread. In areas with poor sewage disposal and among people who do not wash their hands well, the germ is commonly transmitted through contaminated water and food, causing typhoid fever. In urban areas, typhoid occurs primarily through contaminated food by carriers who handle food without proper handwashing.
How Can Typhoid Fever Be Treated?
- Fluid replacement for fever and diarrhea
- Small, frequent and high calorie (energy) meals
- Blood replacement if there is bleeding in the stool (feces).
How Can You Protect Yourself From Typhoid Fever?
- Wash your hands with soap FIRST for at least 20 seconds.
- Buy bottled water, but if you use tap water, let it boil for 1 minute before drinking. Bottled sparkling water is safer than still water.
- Order drinks without ice unless the ice is made from bottled or boiled water. Avoid popsicles and flavored ice creams that may have been made with contaminated water.
- Eat foods that are well cooked and that are still hot and steaming.
- Avoid raw fruits and vegetables that can't be peeled. Vegetables like lettuce are easily contaminated and very difficult to wash well.
- Fruits and vegetables that can be peeled are safer than those that cannot be peeled. Peel them yourself and don't eat the peels.
- Avoid food and drink from street vendors. It is difficult to keep clean food on the street, and many travelers get sick from food bought from street vendors.
- Remember this tip when traveling to avoid typhoid fever: "Boil it, cook it, peel it, or forget it
Typhoid Fever Tests And Diagnosis
When you are affected by typhoid fever, your healthcare provider will perform a complete physical examination to detect the symptoms of typhoid fever, and, based on that, the necessary clinical tests for typhoid fever will be recommended. In addition, your doctor will take a detailed trip, as well as medical history, to assess your exposure to typhoid fever.
Tests to be recommended for during typhoid fever: If you have the disease, your complete blood count will show an increase in the white blood cell (WBC) count.
ELISA: A recent diagnostic test, the ELISA urine test is done to detect the bacteria that cause the disease.
Fluorescent Antibody Study: In this study, any substance that is specific to the bacteria is looked for.
Platelet Count: the platelet count in the case of the person affected by the disease is usually low.
Stool Culture: This is done to determine the presence of the bacteria in the stool. Complications of typhoid fever
Possible complications that can result when the person is diagnosed with typhoid fever:
- Kidney failure
- Severe gastrointestinal bleeding
- Intestinal perforation
- Ensuring proper hygiene and sanitation will definitely protect you against typhoid bacteria infection.
- Persistent hand washing to keep bacteria at bay.
- Careful food preparation as bacteria is spread by feces that come into contact with drinking water and food.
- Eat hot and fresh food as high temperatures make it difficult for bacteria to grow.
- Avoid eating raw vegetables and fruits and also drinking contaminated or untreated water.
- Keep all your household items (especially the kitchen) properly cleaned and sanitized.
- In case you travel to any part of the world that puts you at high risk for typhoid fever, vaccination is the best option available.
What Should I Eat During Typhoid Fever?
Generally, during typhoid fever, a bland, bland, and relaxing diet is preferred. Careful attention should be paid to diet during typhoid fever, as it is an important part of treatment. Typhoid fever is connected with gastrointestinal problems, therefore caution should be exercised when preparing and selecting meals that are simple to digest. Although bland, the diet must be nutritionally adequate to meet the body's daily caloric needs. The body's basal metabolic rate is 10% high during typhoid fever, which means more tissue is being broken down for energy. Therefore, the diet administered during typhoid fever must provide sufficient protein, meet the nutrient requirements of the body, and maintain a balance of water and electrolytes. This is primarily to avoid irritation of the mucous membranes and to minimize stomach acidity, which would cause the gastrointestinal system to become even more inflamed during typhoid fever.
Progressive Diet Plan During Typhoid
A progressive diet from a liquid diet to a normal diet depending on the tolerance level would help the person's appetite during typhoid fever.
- Drink fluids in the form of tender coconut water, barley water, electrolyte fortified water, fresh fruit juice, vegetable soup, buttermilk, and water until body temperature return to normal.
- To start, eat a liquid diet for a few days and then gradually eat fruits such as bananas, melons, watermelons, grapes, peaches, and apricots. It is best to avoid solid foods unless the person is very hungry.
- As the person's appetite improves, semisolid food should be given during typhoid fever. You can give boiled rice, baked potato, boiled or poached eggs, baked apple, yogurt, vegetable soup.
- You can eat fruits, boiled vegetables, and unprocessed meals like unpolished rice and white bread once you've recovered from typhoid fever.
- A typhoid fever recovery diet plan should include yogurt and eggs, as they are easier to digest than meat and provide adequate protein. For vegetarians, lentils, legumes, and cottage cheese meet protein needs.
Foods To Avoid During Typhoid
Dietary precautions during typhoid fever treatment ensure that the disease does not become severe. It helps you relieve the discomfort of typhoid fever.
- Avoid foods rich in fiber during typhoid fever: the intake of whole grains and their products, such as oatmeal, whole wheat bread, and raw vegetables in the form of salads, are rich in fiber. It can increase the stress on your digestive system.
- Avoid vegetables like cabbage, bell peppers, and turnips, as they can cause bloating and gas during typhoid fever.
- Stay away from fatty foods, spices, and condiments such as cayenne, cayenne, and chili powder to ensure that the digestive tract does not become more inflamed.
Diet Tips During Typhoid Fever
- Drink boiled water and keep your body hydrated when affected by typhoid fever.
- Consume 3 to 4 liters of liquids in the form of water, fruit juices, tender coconut water, and soup.
- Eat small, frequent meals instead of large meals to facilitate digestion and for maximum use of nutrients by the body.
- Try not to include spices as much as possible until typhoid recovers.
- Slowly introduce protein into your diet in the form of eggs, yogurt, and boiled fish; depending on your tolerance level, increase the serving size.