What is Typhoid?
Typhoid fever or typhoid is a bacterial infection that leads to health complications like diarrhoea, vomiting and high fever. It is a fatal condition caused by Salmonella typhi bacteria. The disease usually spreads through contaminated water and food. After entering the body, the bacteria spend 1 to 3 weeks in the intestine before making its way to the bloodstream. Over the time, the infection reaches other organs and tissues. The immune system is unable to fight off the bacteria as they can live in the host’s cells without being affected by the immune system.
What Are the Symptoms of Typhoid?
Often, the symptoms of typhoid begin to appear within 6 to 30 days after the infection. Some of the common ones include:
- Physical weakness
- A gradually increasing high fever that lasts for several days
- Abdominal pain
- Skin rashes
Serious complications from typhoid are rare, but they can cause bleeding or perforations in the intestine. These complications can further lead to sepsis. Other complications can include:
It should be noted that there are times when people may not experience any symptoms of Typhoid. Such people can be immune to the bacteria and spread it to other people without even knowing.
What Are the Risk Factors for Typhoid?
Typhoid is considered as one of the most serious health conditions across the world with millions of people being affected by it every year. Children are usually at higher risk to typhoid. Here are the risk factors that increase the chances of getting typhoid:
- Poor sanitation
- Unhygienic lifestyle
- Travel to endemic areas
- Proximity to flying insects who feed on faeces
- Contact with a person who is suffering from typhoid
- Being a clinical microbiologist who handles the bacteria Salmonella typhi
To avoid being infected by typhoid, it is best to stay away from the risks mentioned above factors of typhoid fever. However, in case the person gets infected, timely diagnosis and treatment are best to ensure a healthy and safe recovery.
How is Typhoid Diagnosed?
Typhoid fever is diagnosed by first identifying the symptoms. If the doctors suspect typhoid fever in a person, they recommend various blood, stool or urine tests for diagnosis. In rare cases, a bone marrow sample is also taken to determine the presence of Salmonella typhi bacteria. At times, the bacteria are not always detected in the first time; hence, the patient may need to go through various other tests to confirm the presence of typhoid. Once the diagnosis is made, the doctors chart out the best typhoid treatment for better recovery.
How is Typhoid Treated?
Depending on the patient’s condition, the doctors may opt for various typhoid fever treatment options available. The most common and effective one among them is antibiotic therapy in which doctors prescribe antibiotics like Ciprofloxacin and Ceftriaxone to the patients. Drinking plenty of fluids is also advised. In rare cases where the patient might have suffered from perforation in the intestine, the doctors may suggest surgery to repair the damage.