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Typhoid Fever Symptoms and Vaccination

    Typhoid is an infection that caused by the bacteria Salmonella typhimurium. The bacterium lives in the intestines and bloodstream of humans. It spreads in between the individuals by direct contact with the feces of an infected person. No animals carry this disease, so transmission is always human to human. Typhoid can be diagnosed by detecting the presence of S. typhi via blood, stool, urine, or bone marrow sample.

    Symptoms of Typhoid:-

    Symptoms normally gets begin in 6-30 days after the exposure of  the bacteria. The two major symptoms of typhoid are fever and rash. Typhoid fever is very high, it gradually increasing over several days up to 104 degrees Fahrenheit.

    The rash, which does not affect every patient, consists of rose-colored spots, particularly on the neck and abdomen.

    Other symptoms can include weakness, abdominal pain, constipation, and headaches, rarely, symptoms might include confusion, diarrhea, and vomiting (but not normally severe).

    In serious, untreated cases, the bowel can become perforated, this can lead to peritonitis (an infection of the tissue that lines the inside of the abdomen), which can be very serious indeed.

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    How to avoid Typhoid?

    Typhoid can spread by contacting and the ingestion of infected human feces. This can happened through an infected water source or when handling food.

    The following are some of the general rules that to follow when traveling to help minimize the chance of typhoid infection:

    • Drink bottled water (preferably carbonated)
    • If bottled water cannot be sourced, ensure water is heated on a rolling boil for at least one minute before consuming
    • Be wary of eating anything that has been handled by someone else
    • Avoid eating at street food stands, and only eat food that is still piping hot
    • Do not have ice in drinks
    • Avoid the raw fruits and vegetables and peel fruits.

    Typhoid Vaccination :-

    Before traveling to a high-risk area, getting vaccinated against typhoid fever is recommended. This is achieved by the oral medication or a one-off injection:

    • Oral – live, attenuated vaccine. Consists of 4 tablets – one taken every other day, the last of which is taken 1 week before travel.
    • Shot – inactivated vaccine, administered 2 weeks before travel.

    Vaccination should not be started if the individual is currently ill or if they are under 6-years of age. Anyone with the symptoms of HIV should not take the live, oral dose.

    There may be side effects to the vaccine:

    • Shot: fever (1 in 100 cases)
    • Shot: headache (1 in 30 cases)
    • Shot: redness or swelling at the site of injection (1 in 15 cases)
    • Oral: fever or headache (1 in 20 cases)
    • Oral: stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, rash (rare)

    Even when the symptoms of typhoid have passed, it is still possible to be carrying the bacteria.

    Treatment of Typhoid:-

    The only effective treatment for typhoid is antibiotics. Most commonly they use ciprofloxacin (for non-pregnant adults) and ceftriaxone. Other than antibiotics, it is very sensible to rehydrate by drinking an adequate water.

    In more cases, where the bowel has become perforated, surgery may be required.