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Typhoid: Causes, Symptoms, Preventions and Management read

May 10 2022

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One of the most common types of fever is typhoid. From children to adults, typhoid fever affects people of every age. In fact, some get infected with this disease multiple times in their life. Hence, it is best to know what this disease is, what causes it, and how can one manage it.

Below is a complete guide on everything you should know about typhoid. Read on:

What Is Typhoid Fever?

Typhoid fever is an infection mostly caused by the bacteria named Salmonella enterica serotype Typhi. In some cases, this infection is also caused by Salmonella paratyphi - a related bacteria that cause similar illnesses but with lesser severity.

Typhoid fever – also known as typhoid – spreads in areas with standing water or poor sanitation environment. This is why some geographical areas register hundreds of thousands of typhoid cases while other areas register almost zero cases.

Causes of Typhoid

As mentioned earlier, typhoid fever is caused by the bacteria Salmonella typhi. The most common method of transmission of the bacteria is through the oral-fecal route. Most people catch the infection by having contaminated food or water.

In some rare cases, this disease also gets transferred through direct contact with a person who has a typhoid fever infection.

Symptoms

Generally, the symptoms of typhoid show up one to three weeks after exposure to the infection-causing bacteria.

The early illness symptoms of this disease include:

  • High fever
  • Pain in muscles
  • Fatigue
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Headache
  • Loss of appetite
  • Sweating
  • Stomach pain
  • Weakness
  • Dry cough
  • Weight loss

The late illness symptoms of this disease include:

  • Becoming delirious
  • Lying exhausted in the bed with half-closed eyes (this condition is known as the typhoid fever state)
  • Other serious complications

There are few symptoms that re-appear weeks after your fever has subsided. So, keeping a keen eye on how you are feeling is important even weeks after the fever is completely gone.

When To Visit A Doctor

If you live in or visit typhoid affected area, you should carefully note your body temperature. If the temperature rises from the normal level, you should immediately go to a doctor.

If typhoid fever is not treated at the right time, it can lead to a number of serious complications like holes in the intestines, intestinal bleeding, severe stomach pain, and nausea.

Some less common complications of typhoid include inflammation of the heart muscle, pneumonia, and kidney infection.

Hence, reaching out to a doctor is necessary as soon as you experience early typhoid symptoms. If not treated well in time, typhoid can also be fatal.

Prevention

The chances of catching infection can be reduced to the largest extent by following certain practices. Down below are some ways by which you can do typhoid prevention.

When you travel to typhoid affected areas:

  • Do not drink water from a tap.
  • Be careful of what you eat or drink.
  • Try to drink bottled water when travelling.
  • Boil water if you have unbottled water from an open water reservoir.
  • You can drink coffee or tea as they are boiled.
  • Do not eat raw food as they are prone to infections.
  • Avoid getting food or any beverage from a street vendor.

The following tips can make your environment hygienic:

  • Wash your hands frequently, especially after you go to the bathroom or before eating food. You can use a hand sanitiser, or soap and water to sanitize your hands.
  • Touch your face only after you have washed your hands. Touching the face increases the chances of bacteria entering the oral-fecal route.
  • Try not to make direct contact with people who are already suffering from typhoid fever.
  • Do not prepare or serve food to others if you are already affected by typhoid fever.

Vaccination is also a reliable way of typhoid prevention. Here are the following tips about vaccination to keep yourself safe from infection:

  • If you live in a developed country and have a healthy body, you probably do not need vaccination.
  • If you are planning to visit typhoid affected area, you should get vaccinated first.
  • If you have recently been in touch with a carrier, you should definitely get vaccinated.
  • There are three types of vaccines: inactivated typhoid vaccine, activated typhoid vaccine, and live typhoid vaccine. Consult your doctor to know which type of vaccine will be best suited according to your health.

Management of Typhoid

Here is a list of a few ways you can manage typhoid fever:

  • Keep your room, house, and community area clean.
  • Try to have only home-cooked food so that you can ensure its hygiene.
  • Take boiled water or bottled water until you are completely recovered from the infection.

Conclusion

Typhoid fever is a common disease spread in areas with poor hygienic conditions. Its symptoms include fever, headache, pain in the muscles, fatigue, and so on. The disease can easily be prevented by ensuring a good hygienic environment around you.

Still, if anyone catches typhoid infection, it can be managed and treated. If typhoid  fever is not treated at the right time, it can lead to some serious infections. Hence, seeking medical advice is suggested as soon as one experiences typhoid-related symptoms.

Reference Links:

https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/typhoid

https://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/typhoid-fever

https://www.healthline.com/health/typhoid

https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/001332.htm

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