Typhoid fever: Signs and Symptoms, Complications & Treatment

Typhoid fever is a commonly occurring bacterial infection that spreads through contaminated food and water or through close contact with the infected person. Its signs and symptoms usually include a high fever, headache, abdominal pain, and even diarrhea.

Signs and symptoms of Typhoid fever –

  • Headache, weakness, loss of appetite and fatigue
  • Muscle aches, sweating, dry cough and diarrhea or constipation
Besides that, some patients also have rashes on their chest as well as abdomen. Causes of Typhoid fever –
  • Salmonella typhi bacteria
  • Contaminated food and water
  • Poor sanitation

Facts and figures –

  • Typhoid fever remains a serious worldwide threat — especially in the developing world — affecting an estimated 26 million or more people each year.
  • Worldwide, typhoid fever affects more than 21 million people annually.

Did you know?

  • A physician in Paris first described typhoid fever in 1829.
  • Typhoid fever is treated with antibiotics.
  • Bacteria (Salmonella typhi) invade the gallbladder, biliary system, and the lymphatic tissue of the bowel.
  • When properly treated, typhoid fever is not fatal in most cases.

Complications –

  • Intestinal bleeding or holes
  • Inflammation of the heart muscle (myocarditis)
  • Inflammation of the lining of the heart and valves (endocarditis)
  • Pneumonia
  • Kidney or bladder infections
  • Inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis)

Prevention –

  • Drink safe drinking water.
  • Improve sanitation.
  • Look for adequate medical care.
  • Choose the right food.
  • Do not consume unpasteurized dairy products.
  • Never eat food that looks, smells, or tastes odd.

Treatment options –

Commonly prescribed antibiotics include:
  • Ciprofloxacin
  • Azithromycin
  • Ceftriaxone
Besides that, doctors often recommend a wide range of typhoid tablets and other fever pills depending on the severity of the case. Most patients recover in a week; however, immediate assistance is given to patients who are at risk of severe complications. Hence, talk to your doctor immediately, if you think you have typhoid fever.

About Vikas Singh

Vikas Singh has completed his MSc in biotechnology & MBA in healthcare management. He worked in the biotech industry for drug research, genomics and proteomics. As MBA he has worked with the healthcare industry. He is a certified lean six sigma green belts professional and specialised in the areas of Manufacturing, Quality, R&D, Compliance and Regulatory Affairs.

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