Typhoid Fever - Health Center

Typhoid Fever

By Refadoc, Posted on : Tuesday, 15 September 2015 - 10:46 am IST

Typhoid Fever - Overview

Salmonella Typhi is the name of the bacteria which is known to cause typhoid in human beings. In the developed nations all over the world, this disease has been controlled. However, in the developing nations of the world, this disease has emerged to be one of the major threats affecting people; children primarily are the major targets for the disease.

Contaminated food and drinks are the major source for the spread of the disease. However, if the affected person comes in contact with a non affected person, then the chances of the spreading of the disease are raised manifold. Some of the most prominent signs and symptoms of the disease are high fever along with headache, pain in the abdomen and in some cases, diarrhoea as well.

Though the disease can be easily treated with the help of antibiotics, most of the people who suffer from the disease are able to recover within a period of a couple of weeks. All over the world, the vaccinations for Typhoid are easily available and are recommended to be taken by people who are often exposed to a Typhoid contaminated environment or the areas which are prone to be affected by Typhoid very commonly.

Causes of Typhoid:

Salmonella Typhi is the name of the bacterium which is known for spreading Typhoid amongst humans.

Some of the major causes for the occurrence of Typhoid are as follows:

Faecal Oral Transmission: Majorly, the bacterium responsible for the spread of Typhoid is easily spread from one person to the other via contaminated food and water. In some of the developing nations of the world, where typhoid is still treated as an endemic disease, contamination of the drinking water is one of the biggest sources for the spread of the disease. Other than that, the people who are travelling through the areas affected by the disease are often at a risk to pick up the disease.

This brings out the fact that the bacterium is often passed along the faeces of the affected person. Also, if you are touching the food which is handled by another person suffering from Typhoid, then too, the risks of contracting the disease are very high.

Carriers of Typhoid: Once a person has been treated with antibiotics or has been recovered from the disease, then too they can harbour the disease carrying bacterium within their body. These bacterium can remain active for a long duration of time wthin the gall bladder and the intestine of the affected person. Therefore, people suffering from this condition are known to be the chronic carriers, because they shed the bacterium regularly from their body by the wastes and therefore, have the tendency to contaminate the other people with the same disease. Therefore, the typhoid carriers are the ones that do not have the signs and the symptoms of the disease, but are still capable of infecting others with it.

Signs and Symptoms of Typhoid:

Children are the ones which are suffering from the highest risk of being infected with the disease. Though the children who suffer from the disease easily develop symptoms such as high fever amongst the others within the next one to three weeks of being infected with the bacterium.

The signs and symptoms across the different weeks since the incubation are as follows

Signs in the first week of incubation:

Some of the major signs in the first week of incubation are as follows:

  1. High fever – the one which tends to increase and decrease regularly throughout the day. At the highest level, it can reach at 103-104 F
  2. Consistent headache
  3. Weakness and fatigue in the body
  4. Dry coughing
  5. Decrease in the appetite
  6. Pain in the abdomen
  7. Constipation or increased diarrhoea
  8. Body rashes

Symptoms in the Second Week:

Across the second week, the symptoms of the disease are as follows:

  1. Continuation of the high fever
  2. Diarrhoea and constipation
  3. Extreme loss in the weight
  4. Distension of the abdomen

Symptoms in the third week of the disease:

Signs and symptoms in the third week of the disease are as follows:

  1. Deliriousness of the patient
  2. Motionlessness and exhaustion of the patient along with the half opening of the eyes. This is known as Typhoid state of the affected person.

If at this stage, the disease is left untreated, then it can prove to be fatal.

In case, typhoid fever is suspected, then it is recommended to see a doctor immediately. In some of the advanced cases of Typhoid, the affected person can develop the perforations in the intestine. This can develop in the third week of the disease. The blood pressure of the affected person drops suddenly and blood maybe passed in the stool. The reason for the occurrence of the perforations is that the intestine develops holes and therefore, the contents of the intestine leak into the body. This is a life threatening complication and can lead to the loss of the patients’ life as well.

Tests and Diagnosis of Typhoid:

Before the diagnosis of the disease, the doctor goes through the medical history of the patient as well as his past travel history in order to look for the signs from where the patient might have picked up the germs for the disease.

Some of the other ways for the detection of the disease are as follows:

Testing the body fluid and the tissue culture:

In this, a small sample of the blood, stool, urine or even the bone marrow of the affected person is collected. It is then allowed to grow over a medium of bacteria and is sent for the testing within the next 72 hours. Then the medium is tested for the S.Typhi. This is one of the sure ways to check the person for the disease.

Though this is one of the majorly used ways for the detection of typhoid, in some of the other ways, testing is done to check the person for the bacterium. This includes checking the sample for the detection of antibodies for the typhoid bacteria. If they are found in the DNA of the affected person, then it is confirmed that he is suffering from the disease.

Treatment and Drugs for Typhoid:

Antibiotic therapy is the most effective way for the treatment of typhoid. Some of the most commonly used antibiotics are as follows:

  1. Ciprofloxacin: This is generally prescribed to non pregnant adults for the treatment of Typhoid.
  2. Ceftriaxone: This is used for the women who are pregnant and for children who are allergic to Ciprofloxacin.

Though these drugs may result in possible side effects, they are effectively prescribed all over the world.

Supportive Therapy is one of the other ways that are used for the treatment of Typhoid. This includes drinking fluids in order to help the patient recover from dehydration, which is one of the major signs for Typhoid. In case a person is dehydrated to a great extent, then one of the best ways is to prescribe fluids via intravenous injection.

Also, eating a healthy diet which contains of non bulky as well as high calorie meals is also very helpful in order to help the patient to replace all the nutrients which have been lost during the period of sickness.

Typhoid once detected within the frame of time can be easily treated with the adoption of healthy ways of living coupled with an antibiotic treatment.

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