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Typhoid fever: contagion, symptoms and treatment

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

Typhoid, also called enteric fever, is caused by the bacterium Salmonella typhi enteric of the serotype. Although other types of strains, this is the most common and result in further complications. Worldwide, about 21 million people are affected by typhoid fever each year, and although good results are obtained if treated on time, approximately 200,000 to 600,000 cases are fatal.

Due to this bacterium’s mechanisms to enter the human body, typhoid fever is more common in developing places. Environmental conditions, sanitation, and hygienic infrastructures are usually not efficient and quality. Children over five years of age and young adults are the most frequent to contract this pathology.

The high body temperature distinguishes enteric fever it presents in the patient. It is essential to go to the doctor to diagnose it and grant the corresponding treatment properly. Therefore, in this FastlyHealarticle, we want to inform you of everything regarding typhoid fever: contagion, symptoms, and treatment.

Ways of contagion of typhoid fever

The human being is the only natural organism that can house the S. Typhi bacteria inside and is used to continue dispersing it in the environment. This microorganism can remain inactive for a long time in bodies of water and foods such as frozen seafood or eggs.

On the other hand, for a person to develop enteric fever, it would have to be necessary to ingest one thousand to one million Salmonella enteric type typhi to infect the organism, the level of virulence of the bacteria and the health status of the person is also necessary.

The success of contagion of typhoid fever is due to the mechanisms by which bacteria can enter the body, mainly through:

  • Consumption of contaminated water: water becomes contaminated by coming into contact with feces or, to a lesser extent, with the urine of an infected person. If this water does not have an adequate purification process before consuming it or its storage and handling are not correct, it is likely that people who use it have typhoid fever.
  • Ingestion of contaminated food: poor disinfection or cooking of food contaminated by S. Typhi leads to the spread of typhoid fever. Bacteria can survive effectively in products exposed to sewage or handled by an affected person, such as milk, cheese, eggs, meats, seafood, and vegetables.
  • Lack of personal hygiene: it is usually from eating or preparing food without properly washing your hands after having been in contact with feces or urine contaminated with S. Typhi. It should be noted that a person who has recently had typhoid fever may continue to shed these bacteria for a while, thus remaining a source of contagion.

Main symptoms when developing typhoid fever

Once the bacteria have entered and infected the body, it can take 6 to 14 days to begin to present symptoms, which will depend on the degree of infection, the age and health of the patient, or if a fever vaccine was applied to typhoid previously.

In general, the signs of typhoid fever usually appear gradually, but it is not uncommon for it to be sudden in children. The symptoms of typhoid fever that can be observed are:

  • Fever, reaching up to a body temperature of 40 ° to 40.5 °.
  • Headaches.
  • Muscle pain, often in the abdomen.
  • Pink spots, usually on the chest and abdomen. In the beginning, they typically have a whitish color.
  • Cough and nasal constipation, mainly in children.
  • Loss of appetite
  • There may be diarrhea early in the illness and constipation in the later stages.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Dry skin.
  • Shaking chills.
  • Nose bleed.
  • Lethargy.
  • Slow heart rate, no more than 60 beats per minute.
  • Redness of the eyes.
  • Hallucinations
  • Enlargement of the spleen or liver.
  • Swelling of the lymph nodes.

Treatments to fight typhoid fever

Some vaccines can be used preventively against typhoid fever; they are usually recommended to people who travel to places where this pathology is endemic.

On the other hand, if you have a high fever or any other symptoms of enteric fever, it is necessary that you visit the doctor, especially if you are in a place where there are frequent cases of this disease. Starting treatment early reduces complications, such as intestinal bleeding or perforation, and fatal results.

Under the doctor’s instructions, treatment for typhoid fever consists of antibiotics, commonly ampicillin and chloramphenicol. There may be resistance by bacteria to certain medications, and they need to be changed. In turn, the fluid loss must be counteracted, and dehydration caused by fever and diarrhea should be avoided; depending on the patient’s condition, a replacement can be administered orally or intravenously. Adequate nutrition is also essential; if the person cannot eat, it will be necessary to supply the nutrients intravenously. When typhoid fever has reached complications, it will be resolved based on the doctor’s considerations. In the case of intestinal bleeding, they are usually necessary blood transfusions.

This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Typhoid fever: contagion, symptoms and treatment , we recommend that you enter our Immune system category .

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