Typhoid fever is a type of bacterial infection which can spread throughout your body and affects many organs. Without prompt treatment, it may cause some serious complications which can be fatal. It is caused by a bacterium called Salmonella typhi that is related to the bacteria which leads to salmonella food poisoning. Typhoid fever is extremely contagious. An infected person may pass the bacteria out of their body in their stools) or, less commonly, in their urine. If someone else eats the food or drinks the water that has been contaminated with even a small amount of infected stool or urine, they are likely to become infected with the bacteria and eventually develop the typhoid fever. In this article, we will learn about the symptoms of typhoid in detail. Let us look at the typhoid fever symptoms which includes the symptoms of typhoid in children, symptoms of typhoid in babies, and symptoms of typhoid in adults.
The symptoms of typhoid fever in adults are likely to develop gradually and are often appearing one to three weeks after the exposure to the disease.
Early Illness Symptom of Typhoid Includes the Following:
Once the signs and symptoms start to appear, you are likely to experience these things:
Fever which starts low and slowly increases daily, even reaching as high as 104.9 F
Weakness and fatigue
Loss of appetite and weight loss
Diarrhoea or constipation
Highly swollen abdomen
Later Illness Symptoms Include The Following:
If you do not receive any treatment, you may experience the following:
You become delirious
You lie motionless and are exhausted having your eyes half-closed in what is called as the typhoid state
In addition to this, some life-threatening complications often start to develop at this time.
In some cases, the signs and symptoms can return up to two weeks once the fever has subsided.
Typhoid fever is caused by the virulent bacteria known as Salmonella typhi. Although they are related, Salmonella typhi and the bacteria which is responsible for salmonellosis, yet another serious intestinal infection, are not the same.
Faecal-Oral Transmission Route
The bacteria which cause the typhoid fever spread through the contaminated food or water and occasionally through the direct contact with a person who is infected. In the developing nations, where the typhoid fever is established, most of the cases result from the contaminated drinking water and the poor sanitation. The majority of the people in the industrialized countries pick up the typhoid bacteria when they are travelling and spread it to other people through the faecal-oral route.
This means that the Salmonella typhi is passed through the faeces and sometimes through the urine of the infected people. You can also contract the infection if you eat food which is handled by someone with the typhoid fever and who hasn't washed carefully once they are done using the toilet. You may also become infected if you drink water that is contaminated with the bacteria.
Even after the treatment with the antibiotics, a small number of people that recover from the typhoid fever continue to harbour the bacteria in their intestinal tracts or the gallbladders, often for several years. These people, called the chronic carriers, shed this bacteria in their faeces and are capable of infecting several others as well, although they no longer have the signs or symptoms of this disease themselves.
Typhoid fever requires a prompt treatment along with antibiotics.
If the typhoid fever is diagnosed early, the infection is likely to be quite mild and can be usually treated at the home itself with a 7 to 14-day course of the antibiotic tablets.
More serious cases of the typhoid fever generally require admission to the hospital so that the antibiotic injections can be given.
With prompt antibiotic treatment, most of the people start to feel better within a few days and hence the serious complications are very rare.
If the typhoid fever is not treated, it is estimated that up to 1 in 5 people with this condition will die.
Some of the people who survive might have complications that are caused by the infection.
1. What are the symptoms of typhoid? State the symptoms of typhoid in detail.
The following is a list of all the signs of typhoid fever.
Loss of appetite
Delirium or hallucinations
Extremely swollen abdomen
Rarely, the symptoms might also include confusion, diarrhoea, and vomiting, however, this is not normally severe.
In the serious and untreated cases, the bowel can also become perforated. This can eventually lead to peritonitis, which is an infection of the tissue which lines the inside of the abdomen, that has been reported as fatal in between 5 and 62 per cent of the cases.
2. Is there any vaccine for typhoid fever?
A vaccine is highly recommended if you are living in or you are travelling to areas where the risk of getting typhoid fever is very high. Two vaccines are available as of now for typhoid prevention.
One vaccine is injected in a single dose at least one in a week before travel.
One vaccine is given orally as four capsules, with one capsule having to be taken every other day.
Neither of these vaccines is 100 percent effective and both require repeated immunizations since vaccine effectiveness diminishes over time.
Since the vaccine will not provide you with complete protection, follow the following guidelines when you are travelling to the high-risk areas:
Wash your hands. Frequently hand-washing in hot and soapy water is the best way to control the infection. Wash your hands before eating or preparing the food and especially after using the toilet. Carry an alcohol-based hand sanitizer for the times whenever water isn't easily available.
Avoid drinking contaminated and untreated water. Contaminated drinking water is a major problem in the areas wherein the typhoid fever is endemic. For this reason, drink only the bottled water and the canned or bottled carbonated beverages, and even wine and beer. The carbonated bottled water is much safer than the non carbonated bottled water is.
Ask for the drinks that are without ice. Use the bottled water to even brush your teeth, and try not to swallow the water in the shower.
Avoid having raw fruits and vegetables. Since the raw produced fruits and veggies may have been washed in the unsafe water, avoid having the fruits and vegetables which you cannot peel, especially the lettuce. To be extremely safe, you might want to avoid having the raw foods entirely.
Choose consuming hot foods. Avoid consuming food that is stored or is served at the room temperature. Having steaming hot foods is the best. Although there is no guarantee that the meals that are served at the finest restaurants are safe, it is best to avoid the food from the street vendors since it is more likely to be contaminated.