Typhoid - Prevention is Better than Cure

Health issues are emerging out everywhere. Be it unhealthy lifestyle or unhealthy food. Typhoid usually is caused by bacteria. Typhoid fever is contracted by eating contaminated food and drinking contaminated water. A stool culture is conducted to detect the bacteria.

Typhoid fever is treated with the use of antibiotics.

Around 3%-5% people become the carriers of bacteria after getting infected.

Typhoid fever is contracted due to ingestion of bacteria through eating or drinking contaminated food. Patients with severe illness can also spread the disease through passing of stool and contaminating the surrounding water supply. Stool contains a high concentration of bacteria.

Some patients suffer a very mild illness that goes unrecognized. Such patients can become long-term carriers of the bacteria. The disease causing bacteria multiply in the gallbladder, bile ducts, or liver and passes into the bowel. The bacteria can survive for weeks in water as well as dried sewage. These chronic carriers may have no symptoms and can be the source of new outbreaks of typhoid fever for many years.

What are the symptoms of typhoid fever?

The incubation period is usually one to two weeks, and the duration of the illness is about four to six weeks. The patient experiences these symptoms:

People with typhoid fever usually have a sustained fever as high as 103 F-104 F (39 C-40 C).

Chest congestion develops in many patients, and abdominal pain and discomfort are common in everyone. The fever becomes constant. Improvement occurs in the third and fourth week in those without complications. About 10% of patients have recurrent symptoms after feeling better for one to two weeks. Relapses are more common in individuals treated with antibiotics.

These possible symptoms are not always a sure sign of the illness. Other common conditions can cause several of these symptoms.

For someone who does not receive treatment for typhoid, the high fever can continue for four to eight weeks. Other symptoms that may appear in someone who is not treated include

What are the treatments available for typhoid?

Several antibiotics are effective for the treatment of typhoid fever.

Sanitation and hygiene are the critical measures that can be taken to prevent typhoid. Typhoid does not affect animals and therefore transmission is only from human to human. Typhoid can only spread in environments where human feces or urine are able to come into contact with food or drinking water. Careful food preparation and washing of hands are crucial for prevention of typhoid.

The bacteria which causes typhoid fever may spread through poor hygiene habits and public sanitation conditions, and sometimes also by flying insects feeding on feces. Public education campaigns encouraging people to wash their hands after defecating and before handling food are an important component in controlling spread of the disease.