Typhoid

Typhoid fever is caused by contaminated food and drink, as well as intimate contact with an infected individual. Salmonella typhi is the bacteria that causes typhoid fever. In industrialized countries, typhoid fever is uncommon. It remains a severe health concern, particularly for children.

Typical signs and symptoms include-

  • High-temperature
  • Headache
  • Stomach ache
  • Diarrhea or constipation

The majority of persons with typhoid fever improve within a few days of starting antibiotic treatment, but only a small percentage might get complications. Typhoid fever vaccines are only moderately effective.


Symptoms of Typhoid

Symptoms and signs are likely to arise gradually, usually one to three weeks following contact to the disease

Early illness signs -

Among the signs and symptoms are:

  • Fever that begins low and gradually rises, possibly reaching 104.9 F. (40.5 C)
  • Headache
  • Weakness and exhaustion
  • Muscle pain
  • Sweating
  • Cough is dry
  • Appetite loss and weight loss
  • Stomach ache
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Rash
  • Stomach bloating

Late illness -

If you do not receive therapy, you may:

  • Hallucination
  • In this typhoid stage, you'll be still and weary, with your eyes half-closed.

At this stage, life-threatening problems are common. Signs and symptoms may reappear up to two weeks after the fever has subsided in some persons.


When to see a doctor?

When a person has early symptoms of typhoid such as high fever for mere than 2 days, vomiting, diarrhea etc visit your doctor immediately. The signs and symptoms of typhoid should not be ignored. Seek emergency medical care.


Causes

Salmonella typhi, a hazardous pathogen, causes typhoid fever. The bacteria that cause salmonellosis, another deadly intestinal infection, are related to Salmonella typhi, but they are not the same. The majority of persons in wealthy countries contract typhoid bacteria while travelling. Once infected, they can transfer the disease to others via the fecal-oral route. This means that infected persons pass Salmonella typhi in their stools and occasionally in their pee. You can get typhoid fever if you eat food that has been touched by someone who has the disease and hasn't cleaned their hands thoroughly after using the restroom. The majority of persons infected with typhoid fever in developing nations get it through drinking polluted water. The bacterium can also be transferred by contaminated food or direct contact with an affected person.


Risk Factors of Typhoid

Following are the chances one might be prone to get typhoid -

  • Working in or visiting locations where typhoid fever is prevalent
  • As a clinical microbiologist, you'll be dealing with Salmonella typhi bacteria.
  • Have close contact with someone who has typhoid fever or has recently been afflicted.
  • Drink sewage-contaminated water that includes Salmonella typhi.

Prevention of Typhoid

Typhoid fever can be prevented and controlled with safe drinking water, good sanitation, and adequate medical care. Unfortunately, in many underdeveloped countries, achieving these goals may be challenging. As a result, vaccinations are the most effective strategy to prevent typhoid disease. If you live in or plan to go to locations where typhoid disease is a serious threat, you should get vaccinated.

Vaccines

There are two vaccinations available.

  • At least one week before travel, one is administered as a single shot.
  • One is taken orally in the form of four capsules, and one capsule every other day

Neither vaccine is guaranteed to be 100 per cent effective. Both require booster vaccinations. When going to high-risk areas, observe these instructions because the vaccine won't provide total protection:

Hands should be washed

Wash hands in hot water using soap on a regular basis is the most effective technique to prevent infection. Before eating or preparing food, and after using the restroom, wash your hands. When water isn't accessible, carry an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

Drinking untreated water should be avoided

Drinking water contamination is a particular issue in locations where typhoid illness is prevalent. Try drinking bottled water, canned or bottled fizzy beverages, wine, or beer. Bottled water that has been carbonated is safer than non-carbonated bottled water.

Raw fruits and vegetables should be avoided

Avoid fruits and vegetables that you can't peel, especially lettuce, because they may have been washed in polluted water. To be on the safe side, stay away from raw foods totally.

Pick fresh and hot meals

Food that has been stored or served at room temperature should be avoided. Eat foods that are freshly cooked and hot. And, while there's no guarantee that food served in the finest restaurants is safe, it's recommended to avoid street food because it's more likely to be contaminated

Take your antibiotics as directed

Take your antibiotics according to your doctor's recommendations, and make sure you finish the entire prescription.

Hands should be washed frequently

This is the single most critical thing you can do to prevent the illness from spreading further. Scrub thoroughly for at least 30 seconds with hot, soapy water, especially before eating and after using the restroom.

Avoid touching food

Wait until your doctor confirms you're no longer contagious before preparing food for others. You won't be allowed to return to work in the food service business or a health care facility until tests confirm you're no longer shedding typhoid bacteria.


Diagnosis

For diagnosis of typhoid following factors are considered -

Medical and travel history

Based on your symptoms and medical and travel history, your doctor is likely to suspect typhoid fever. Salmonella typhi is usually identified in a culture of your blood, other body fluids, or tissue to confirm the diagnosis.

Bodily fluids or tissues culture

A little sample of your blood, stool, urine, or bone marrow is placed on a specific medium that promotes bacterial growth for the culture. The presence of typhoid germs in the culture is examined under a microscope. The most sensitive test for Salmonella typhi is often a bone marrow culture. Although a culture test is the most common diagnostic test, other tests, such as a test to identify antibodies to typhoid bacteria in your blood or a test to search for typhoid DNA in your blood, may be used to confirm a suspected typhoid fever infection.


Treatment

For treating typhoid medications such as antibiotics are prescribed. After the medication starts the patient can recover in 7 to 10 days. Antibiotics will treat typhoid but if in case it takes time other treatment options can be prescribed such as a surgery, it is done in case patches in intestine are torned. You might be asked for more fluid consumption it helps to avoid dehydration caused by a long-term fever and diarrhea. You may need to receive fluids through a vein if you're very dehydrated (intravenously).


Lifestyle changes and self-care

Follow some lifestyle changes and home remedies to manage typhoid -

  • Eat freshly cooked food.
  • Ask your doctor about what to eat and what to avoid.
  • Drink a lot of water and fruit juices to stay hydrated.
  • Drink boil water.
  • Avoid outside food, undercooked food or oily food.
  • Keep your surroundings clean.
  • Take your medicines at proper time.

Do's and Don’ts

To prevent typhoid one has to follow certain sets of do’s and don’ts. Follow these tips -

Do’s Don’ts
Eat home cooked food only. Don’t eat junk food, oily or deep fries food.
Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. Don’t eat left over food or cold food.
Maintain good hygiene, keep your surroundings clean. Don’t stand in direct sunlight.
Continue to take your medication till the time it has been prescribed for. Don’t stop taking your medicine.
Wash your hands before eating anything. Don’t take foods that distress your digestive system.

Care at Medicover Hospitals

At Medicover Hospitals, we have the most trusted team of doctors and medical experts who are experienced in providing excellent healthcare services to our patients. Our dedicated team of experts, trained nurses and other paramedical staff offer the best care to a patient. We make use of advanced medical technology and state-of-the-art facilities for the diagnosis of conditions and treatment of health disorders. For the treatment of typhoid, we have an experinced team of doctors who diagnose and treat this condition with utmost precision that brings successful treatment outcomes.

Citations

https://www.nejm.org/doi/pdf/10.1056/NEJM197010012831406
https://www.jstor.org/stable/4453843
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0140673605671814

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is typhoid fever?

The bacterial infection that causes typhoid fever is Salmonella typhi. It primarily affects the digestive system and can lead to serious illness if not treated promptly.

2. How is typhoid fever transmitted?

Usually, typhoid is spread by consuming infected food or water. It can also be transmitted by close contact with an infected person who sheds the bacteria in their feces.

3. What are the common symptoms of typhoid fever?

Symptoms include high fever, headache, stomach pain, weakness, and a rash. Some people may also experience diarrhea or constipation.

4. How is typhoid fever diagnosed?

Diagnosis is usually based on blood, stool, or urine tests to check for theSalmonella typhi bacteria or antibodies produced by the body in response to the infection.

5. What is the treatment for typhoid fever?

Antibiotics like these are used to treat typhoid fever. ciprofloxacin or azithromycin. It's essential to complete the full course of antibiotics as prescribed by a healthcare provider.

6. Are there vaccines for typhoid?

Yes, there are vaccines available to prevent typhoid fever. Two main types are the oral live-attenuated vaccine and the injectable Vi capsular polysaccharide vaccine. These vaccines are recommended for travelers to high-risk areas and can also be given to individuals at risk of exposure.

7. How can typhoid fever be prevented?

To reduce the risk of typhoid, practice good hygiene, drink safe and clean water, avoid consuming raw or undercooked foods, and consider getting vaccinated if traveling to endemic regions.

8. Is typhoid fever a deadly disease?

Typhoid fever can be serious and potentially life-threatening if not treated promptly with antibiotics. However, with appropriate medical care, the prognosis is generally good.

9. What are the complications of typhoid fever?

Complications can include intestinal perforation, which requires surgery, as well as other serious complications affecting various organs. Prompt treatment reduces the risk of complications.

10. Is typhoid fever common worldwide?

Typhoid fever is more common in regions with poor sanitation and limited access to clean water. It is less common in developed countries but can still occur, often in travelers returning from high-risk areas.