Typhoid fever is an illness caused by the bacteria Salmonella Typhi (S. Typhi). It affects your small intestine (intestines) and causes severe heartburn, abdominal pain, and other symptoms. Typhoid fever is also called enteric fever.
You often hear paratyphoid fever mentioned along with typhoid fever. Paratyphoid fever is similar to typhoid fever with milder symptoms. Caused by Salmonella Paratyphi (S. Paratyphi).
S. Typhi and S. Paratyphi are different from the Salmonella bacteria that cause salmonellosis, a type of food poisoning.
Typhoid fever is more common in rural areas of developing countries where modern sanitation is lacking. Countries in South and Southeast Asia, Central and South America, Africa, and the Caribbean are most affected by typhoid fever. Travelers are most at risk when visiting Pakistan, India, or Bangladesh.
Children are more susceptible to typhoid fever than adults.
It is estimated that between 11 and 21 million people worldwide contract typhoid fever each year. Rare in the US, Canada, Japan, Western Europe, and Australia.
Causes of typhoid fever:
Some people remain infected with typhoid fever even after they recover (long-term carrier). You can spread typhoid fever for a year or more without symptoms. It is important to get tested for S. Typhi to make sure you don’t spread it to others
Symptoms of typhoid fever:
Signs and symptoms may develop slowly; they usually appear one to three weeks after exposure to the disease.
• Fever starts low and increases daily, about 104.9 F (40.5 C)
• Weakness and fatigue
• Muscle pains
• Dry cough
• Loss of appetite and weight loss
• Stomach ache
• diarrhea and constipation.
• The abdomen is very swollen
• Sleeping immobile and tired with the eyes closed in what is known as the typhoid state.
Fatal problems are common at this time.
In some people, signs and symptoms may return up to two weeks after the fever has passed.
It’s time to see a doctor.
See a doctor right away if you think you may have typhoid fever. If you live in the United States and get sick while traveling abroad, call the US Consulate has a list of doctors.
If you have signs and symptoms after returning home, consider seeing a doctor who specializes in travel medicine or infectious diseases. A doctor who is familiar with these areas can detect and treat your condition early.
Stages of typhoid fever:
You can develop fever symptoms gradually in four stages. Prompt treatment with antibiotics can prevent it from progressing to the final stages.
• first stage: You may begin to experience symptoms of typhoid fever 5 to 14 days after being exposed to S. Typhi. The first symptom is a fever that increases for a few days; it is called “step by step” because it increases in stages. The virus is circulating in your bloodstream right now.
• Second stage: During the second week of the fever, bacteria continue to multiply in the Peyer’s patches (the part of your immune system that signals harmful invaders). She will begin to feel pain in her stomach and other stomach symptoms, such as diarrhea or constipation. You may have “pink spots,” small pink spots on your skin that look like bumps.
• Third stage: If the infection is not treated with antibiotics, it can be very harmful, usually by the third week after symptoms start. Some people experience more serious complications, such as internal bleeding and encephalitis (brain swelling).
• Fourth Stage: It is when most people begin to recover. His high fever begins to subside. S. Typhi can live in your intestine without causing symptoms, which means you can still be infected even if you feel better.
Treatment of typhoid fever:
Typhoid can be treated effectively with antibiotics.
This condition can be treated at home, but you may need to be hospitalized if it is severe.
Treatment at home:
If typhoid fever is detected at an early stage, a course of medicinal pills may be prescribed. Most people should take them for 7 to 14 days.
Some strains of the Salmonella Typhi bacteria that cause typhoid fever have developed resistance to one or more types of antibiotics.
This is an increasing problem of typhoid diseases originating in Southeast Asia.
Any blood, stool, or urine sample taken during the test will usually be tested in a laboratory to determine the type of infection so that you can be treated with antibiotics.
Your symptoms should begin to improve within two to three days of taking the antibiotics. But it is important to complete the course to ensure that the bacteria are completely removed from your body.
Be sure to rest, drink plenty of water, and eat regular meals. You may find it easier to eat small meals more often, rather than 3 large meals a day.
You should also maintain good personal hygiene standards, such as washing your hands regularly with soap and warm water, to reduce the risk of spreading the virus to others.
Contact your GP immediately if your symptoms worsen or you develop new symptoms while being treated at home.
A small number of people with typhoid fever have typical symptoms. This is known as relapse.
Not going to work or school.
Most people who are treated for typhoid can return to work or school as soon as they feel better.
They exclude food workers and vulnerable people, such as children under five, the elderly, and healthy people.
In these situations, you or your child should only return to work or daycare after tests on three poop samples taken at 48-hour intervals show that the bacteria are no longer present.
Hospitalization is usually recommended if you have severe symptoms of typhoid fever, such as persistent vomiting, severe diarrhea, or a swollen abdomen.
As a precaution, young children who develop typhoid fever may be hospitalized.
You will be injected with antibiotics at the hospital and may be given fluids and nutrients directly into a vein through an IV drip.
Surgery may be necessary if you develop life-threatening complications of typhoid fever, such as internal bleeding or a rupture of part of your digestive system.
But this is rare in people treated with antibiotics.
Most people respond well to hospital treatment and get better within three to five days, but it may take several weeks before you are well enough to leave the hospital.
Some people who are treated for typhoid experience a relapse, when symptoms return.
If this happens, the symptoms usually return one week after the antibiotics have finished.
In the second cycle, the symptoms are usually milder and last longer than the first infection, but further treatment with antibiotics is often recommended.
See your GP immediately if your symptoms return after treatment.
After your symptoms go away, another poop sample should be tested to check for Salmonella Typhi bacteria in your poop.
If so, you may be a carrier of typhoid. This means that Salmonella Typhi bacteria remain in your body and can be spread naturally in your stool or urine. But you won’t have any visible symptoms.
The virus can stay in your body for 12 months or more after you first become infected.
you may need a 28-day course of antibiotics to “kill” the bacteria.
Until tests show you are free of the virus, avoid handling or preparing food.
It is also important to wash your hands well after going to the toilet.