Typhoid Fever

How do People get Typhoid Fever?

Typhoid fever is contracted by drinking or eating the bacteria in contaminated food or water. People with acute illness can contaminate the surrounding water supply through stool, which contains a high concentration of the bacteria. Contamination of the water supply can, in turn, taint the food supply. The bacteria can survive for weeks in water or dried sewage.

How Is Typhoid Fever Diagnosed?

After the ingestion of contaminated food or water, the Salmonella bacteria invade the small intestine and enter the bloodstream temporarily. The bacteria are carried by white blood cells in the lever and bone marrow, where they multiply and reenter the bloodstream. People develop symptoms, including fever at this point. Bacteria invade the gallbladder, and the lymphatic tissue of the bowel.

Symptoms of Typhoid Fever

The incubation period is usually 1-2 weeks and the duration of the illness is about 3-4 weeks. Symptoms include:

  • Poor appetite.
  • Headache.
  • Generalized aches and pains.
  • Fever as high as 104 degrees F.
  • Lethargy.
  • Diarrhea.

How Is Typhoid Fever Treated?

Typhoid fever is treated with antibiotics which kill the Salmonella bacteria. Prior to the use of antibiotics the fatality rate was 20%.

Several antibiotics are effective for the treatment of typhoid fever. Chloramphenicol was the original drug of choice for many years. Because of rare serious side effects chloramphenicol has been replaced by other effective antibiotics.

Those who become chronically ill (about 3%-5% of those infected), can be treated with prolonged antibiotics. Often, removal of the gallbladder, the site of chronic infection will provide a cure.

What food should be avoided in typhoid:

Avoid raw food, unpeeled fruits and vegetables that may have been washed with contaminated water, especially lettuce and fruits like berries that can’t be peeled. Bananas, avocados and oranges make better choices, but be sure you peel them yourself.

Hygiene helps you to prevent Typhoid Fever:

  • Cooking kills Typhoid– thoroughly cook all meats, fish and vegetables. Eat them while they are hot.
  • Washing protects you from Typhoid – wash your hands before preparing or serving food.
  • Wash your dishes and utensils with soap and water Wash your cutting board especially well with soap and water.
  • Peeling protects you from Typhoid-eat only fruits that have been freshly peeled, such as oranges and bananas.



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