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Typhoid - Signs You Are Suffering From It!

MBBS, Diploma in Tuberculosis and Chest Diseases (DTCD), MD - General Medicine
General Physician, Delhi  •  39 years experience
Typhoid - Signs You Are Suffering From It!

Typhoid is as an acute illness commonly characterized by high fever and an impaired digestive system. This illness is caused by the bacterium ‘Salmonella Typhi’ and generally spreads from one person to another by means of food or water.

Causes of typhoid

  • Salmonella Typhi, the bacterium responsible for typhoid, primarily spreads on consumption of unhygienic street food and water.
  • Typhoid can also occur as a result of a poor sanitation system. In these cases, the bacterium spreads through fecal matters and the contaminated urine of the infected person.
  • Typhoid can also spread if you share the same food and water consumed by the infected person.

Symptoms 
The symptoms generally appear within 1-3 weeks, after coming in contact with the already infected individual. The ensuing fever and discomfort remains for about 3-4 weeks. The symptoms are:

However, in most of the cases, the symptoms tend to improve from the third week itself.

Treatment
The following treatments can be implemented in order to cure typhoid fever:

  • Doctors generally recommend a prescribed dosage of antibiotics in order to deal with the disease. 
  • Along with the prescribed dosage of antibiotics, the doctors recommend balanced consumption of various fluids such as natural fruit juices and water to restore hydration. A healthy diet packed with all the essential nutrients is another necessity that has to complement the dosage of antibiotics.
  • Choice of antibiotics should be Ceftriaxone, Cefixime, Azithromycin and Ciprofloxacin.

Complications

  1. The two most common complications are haemorrhage (including disseminated intravascular coagulation) and perforation of the bowel. Before antibiotics, perforation had a mortality of around 75%.
  2. Jaundice may be due to hepatitis, cholangitis, cholecystitis, or haemolysis.
  3. Pancreatitis with acute kidney injury and hepatitis with hepatomegaly are rare.
  4. Toxic myocarditis occurs in 1-5% of patients (ECG changes may be present). It is a significant cause of death in endemic areas.
  5. Toxic confusional states and other neurological and psychiatric disturbances have been reported.

Needs and Indications for Hospitalization-

Hospital admission is usually recommended if you have severe symptoms of typhoid fever, such as persistent vomiting, severe diarrhoea or a swollen stomach. As a precaution, young children who develop typhoid fever may be admitted to hospital. In hospital, you'll have antibiotic injections and you may also be given fluids and nutrients directly into a vein through an intravenous drip. Surgery may be needed if you develop life-threatening complications of typhoid fever, such as internal bleeding or a section of your digestive system splitting. However, this is very rare in people being treated with antibiotics. Most people respond well to hospital treatment and improve within three to five days. However, it may be several weeks until you're well enough to leave hospital.

Vaccines

Two types of vaccines are available

  • Injected
  • Oral 

The injected vaccine is more commonly used and  is also known as inactivated typhoid shot . It is injected in one single shot an it can easily provide protection against typhoid. This type is widely prevalent in cases where one has to travel to a typhoid infected place. However, one must be careful and should keep a tab as to what they eat or drink at the time of travelling. Also, this type of vaccine should not be administered on kids below 2 years old.

If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a doctor.

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