Typhoid Fever: Some Symptoms & Risk Factors

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typhoid fever

This type of fever is caused by Salmonella typhi bacteria. This disease is rare in developed countries. But, in the developing world, especially for children, it is a serious health threat. Contaminated food or water or close contact with a person who has typhoid fever can cause typhoid fever.

Some signs and symptoms of Typhoid:

  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • High fever
  • Stomach pain
  • Headache

Most people who suffer from typhoid fever feel better after a few days after they have started the antibiotic treatment. A small number of these people die of complications. Vaccines for this type of the disease are only partially effective. Usually, vaccines for typhoid fever are reserved for those who may be exposed to the disease or who are traveling to areas where typhoid fever is a common disease.

typhoid fever

Symptoms:

Signs and symptoms of typhoid fever are likely to develop gradually. They often appear 1 – 3 weeks after exposure to the disease.

  • Early illness: Some signs and symptoms of the early illness include:
  • Extremely swollen stomach
  • Rash
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Stomach pain
  • Loss of appetite and weight loss
  • Dry cough
  • Sweating
  • Muscle aches
  • Weakness and fatigue
  • Headache
  • Fever that starts slow and increases daily, possibly reaching as high as 104.9 F
  • Later illness: If you do not have treatment, you may:
  • Lie exhausted and motionless with your eyes half-closed in what is known as the typhoid state
  • Become delirious

Often, life-threatening complications develop at this time. In some cases, signs and symptoms can return up to two weeks after the fever has subsided. You should see your doctor immediately if you think that you might have typhoid fever.

Causes:

Salmonella typhi is a dangerous bacteria that causes typhoid fever. This type of bacteria is related to the bacteria that cause salmonellosis, which is another serious intestinal infection, but they are not the same.

Fecal – oral transmission route:

People who live in developed countries, often get typhoid bacteria while they are traveling. Once they have been infected, they can spread this bacteria to others through the fecal-oral route. Salmonella typhi is passed in the feces and in some cases in the urine of infected people. If you eat some food from a person infected with this condition and who has not washed carefully after using the toilet, then you can become infected with typhoid fever.

Typhoid fever is established in developed countries and most people become infected by drinking contaminated water. Also, bacteria can spread through contaminated food and through direct contact with someone who is infected. In developing countries, typhoid fever is established and here most cases are a result of drinking contaminated water. Also, bacteria can spread through direct contact with someone who is infected and through contaminated food.

Typhoid carriers:

A small number of people who recover from typhoid fever continue to harbor the bacteria even after antibiotic treatment. These people are known as chronic carriers and they no longer have signs or symptoms of the disease themselves. Still, they shed bacteria in their feces and they are capable of infecting others.

Risk factors:

Typhoid fever is a serious worldwide threat. It affects about 27 million or more people each year. Typhoid fever is established in South America, Africa and Southeast Asia, and many other areas. Generally, children have more chances of getting typhoid fever, but they have milder symptoms than adults do. If you work or travel to areas where typhoid fever is established, then you have an increased risk of getting this disease.

If you work as a clinical microbiologist handling Salmonella typhi bacteria, then you have more chances of getting typhoid fever. If you have close contact with someone who is infected or has recently been infected with typhoid fever, then you have an increased risk of getting this condition. If you drink water polluted by sewage that contains Salmonella typhi, then you have more chances of getting this condition.

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