Typhoid fever is a bacterial disease caused by a bacteria Salmonella typhi. It spreads through consuming food or water that has been contaminated by stool of an infected person. The bacteria spread rapidly through your blood and causes a range of ailments.
It can cause bleeding in the intestine and perforations. This results in stomach pains, nausea, vomiting, and sepsis. Repair of intestinal damage may require surgery. In less frequent cases, typhoid can result in inflammation of muscles, linings, and valves of the heart. It can also cause pneumonia, meningitis, kidney infection, bladder infection, and inflammation of the pancreas. It may also result in delirium.
The symptoms of typhoid infection start appearing within 1 to 3 weeks depending upon the virulence of the infection. The common symptoms are-
Vaccination is the most effective measure to prevent typhoid. There are two methods of vaccination- inactivated typhoid vaccine shot and an oral dose of live typhoid vaccine. One dose of inactivated typhoid vaccine is enough to protect you against the infection. A booster dose may be required every 2 years. You must consume four doses of live vaccine every alternate day. The capsule must be consumed orally, at least one hour before a meal. A booster may be required every 5 years.
What to know before immunisation-
• The inactivated vaccine should not be used in children below 2 years. The live vaccine is not recommended for use in children below 6 years.
• You should wait to get live typhoid vaccine if you are suffering from a pre-existing fever or infection. If you are on antibiotics, you must not take the oral vaccine until 3 days of discontinuing the medicine.
• People with immunodeficiency diseases such as AIDS should take inactivated typhoid vaccine shots instead of the live vaccine.
• Anti-malarial medicines should not be used until 10 days of a typhoid shot.
• Extremely serious side effects resulting from typhoid fever vaccine are very rare. It is generally safe for use.
• The inactivated vaccine may cause fever in 1 person in 100. It can also cause a mild headache, stomach pain, rashes in a person. Although serious allergic reactions are extremely rare, notify the doctor as soon as possible.
Typhoid affects 21 million people worldwide and causes 2,20,000 deaths annually. It can be fatal if it goes untreated. Therefore, it is crucial for people living in a typhoid prone zone to be immunised.