PATIENT CARE

15 must know facts about Typhoid fever

Typhoid fever is a serious condition. These are 15 must know facts about the disease Typhoid.

1. What are symptoms of Typhoid Fever ?

The classic symptoms of Typhoid Fever is sustained fevers as high as 103 F – 104 F (37.5C-38C). The fever is minimal in the first few days of the illness and increases over time to high fevers. Other common symptoms include

  • weakness
  • Generalized malaise (exhaustion and fatigue)
  • Headache
  • Relatively slow heart rate compared to the high fever.
  • Diarrhea
  • constipation
  • Loss of appetite

  Some patients will also have a distinctive rash on their chest and abdomen, which is rose – colored and flat (rose spots). Some patients will have an enlarged liver and spleen. If left untreated, the illness last approximately one month and carries a 10%-30% mortality rate. Which is usually due to intestinal hemorrhage or perforation.

More details

2. Is Typhoid a communicable disease?                               

 Yes, It is a communicable disease. The Germ-negative bacterium that causes typhoid fever is Salmonella Typhi, also known as Salmonella enterica serotype Typhi. Salmonella Typhi is spread through the fecal oral route from individuals that are currently infected and from asymptomatic carriers of the bacteria.

3. How long can typhoid bacteria live?

It depends on how many bacteria you have swallowed. It is usually between 7-14 days, but can be as short as three days, or as long as 30 days. Untreated, the illness usually lasts for three to four weeks, but may be longer in a small number of cases. Symptoms very from mild to severe and life-threatening.

4. How can measure a typhoid fever?

Salmonella antibodies or antigens support the diagnosis of typhoid fever, but these results should be confirmed with cultures or DNA evidence. The Widal test was the mainstay of typhoid fever diagnosis for decades. It is used to measure agglutinating antibodies against H and O antigens of S typhi.

5. What are the causes of Typhoid Fever?

Typhoid Fever is an acute illness associated with fever caused by a bacterium, Salmonella typhi. These bacteria adhere to ileal tissue,survive in macrophage cells, are carried to mesenteric lymph nodes and reach the lymphatic system. They are further carried to the liver, spleen and bone marrow.It can also caused by Salmonella peratyphi,a related bacterium that usually causes a less severe illness.The bacteria are deposited in water or food by a human carrier and then spread to other people.

 6. Is typhoid fever serious?

  Typhoid fever is a serious condition. The most common complication of typhoid fever is bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract,as the infection damages the lining of the intestine. Other complications that can occur as a result of the severe dehydration , bacteria spreading throughout body, include kidney failure inflammation of the abdominal wall lining ,inflammation of the heart muscle and lungs.  

7. What meal should be given to a typhoid patient?

  • Soft cooked vegetables, mashed potatoes and fruits like apple, banana and oranges.
  • Sufficient fluids like coconut water, lassi, fruits juices and glucose water.
  • High intake of carbohydrates which are easily digestible like soft rice, porridge and fruits custards.
  • Have small frequent meals.
  • Light biscuits, bread and jam, thin vegetable soups and thin dals can be had.
  • Avoid spicy, fried food, meats, butter and ghee.
  • Avoid high fiber diet and whole grains.

8. Can we drink milk while having typhoid?

Yes milk can be taken during typhoid. Typhoid is usually transmitted by faeco-oral route.So avoid outside food and always carry your own drinking water. Complete the course of antibiotics .

Typhoid fever is caused by bacteria (Salmonella typhi). The bacteria are passed on by eating food or drinking wate that has been contaminated by someone with the disease. You can also get the disease if water used for drinking or washing food is contaminated with sewage contanining the bacteria.

9. Can drinking alcohol reduce a fever?

No

10. Does typhoid occur only once in a lifetime?

No, typhoid fever can be recurrent. It is a strict human pathogen and colonise the small intestine of the infected human hosts. Asymptomatic long-term colonization occurs commonly in infected hosts. Infected typhoid patient and more frequently carriers are important reservoirs of infections for typhoid fever. Food handlers or cooks who become carriers are potentially dangerous to the community. Food, vegetables or water contaminated human faeces by S. typhi are the common sources of infection S. typhi infections occur when food or water contaminated by infected food handlers or due to poor personal hygiene is ingested. The infectious dose for S. typhi infections is low, so person-to-person spread is common. Relapse due to typhoid can occur, but it is not that common. Relapses are common if antibiotics are not taken for full 15 days.

11. How do I treated Typhoid?

Typhoid fever is treated with antibiotics and fluids. It consists of supportive care through iv fluids (delivering fluids, medication or blood directly into a vein) and oral rehydration therapy giving fluids by mouth to treat dehydration caused by Diarrhea.

     Medications include antibiotics, which stop the growth or kills bacteria and penicillin antibiotic stops growth of or kills specific bacteria.

Generally,

     Ampicillin and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole frequently prescribed antibiotics.

     Ciprofloxacin is often prescribed for pregnant patients.

12. Can Typhoid be cured in 2-3 days is diagnosed the first day?

If Typhoid fever is diagnosed in its early stages, a course of antibiotic tablets may be prescribed for patients. Most people need to take these for 7 to 14 days. Your symptoms should begin to improve within 2 to 3 days of taking antibiotics.

         Salmonella antibodies or antigenssupport the diagnosis of typhoid fever, but these results should be confirmed with cultures or DNA evidence. The Widal test was the mainstay of typhiod fever diagnosis for decades. It is used to measure agglutinating antibodies against H and O antigens of S typhi.

Are any side effect associated with Typhoid Fever Vaccines?

As with any medication, the vaccine could cause a serious problem (for example, an allergic reaction). However, side effects from typhoid vaccine are generally mild and self-limited. Side effects of the shot include redness and soreness at the injection site, fever and headache. Side effect of the oral vaccine (the pill form) include fever, headaches,nausea,vomiting and rash.

Further details

http://www.who.int/immunization/diseases/typhoid/en/

13. I’m done taking antibiotics for typhoid but symptoms persist?

Drug resistant typhoid may be the reason.

consult your doctor for further advise.

14. Is typhoid (1GM positive) contagious?

Yes

15. Prevention of typhoid fever

A. Safe water

Typhoid fever is a waterborne disease and the main preventive measure is to ensure
access to safe water. The water needs to be of good quality and must be sufficient to
supply all the community with enough drinking water as well as for all other domestic
purposes such as cooking and washing.

B. Food safety

Contaminated food is another important vehicle for typhoid fever transmission.
Appropriate food handling and processing is paramount and the following basic hygiene
measures must be implemented or reinforced during epidemics:

C. Sanitation

Proper sanitation contributes to reducing the risk of transmission of all diarrhoeal
pathogens including Salmonella typhi.
Appropriate facilities for human waste disposal must be available for all the
community. In an emergency, pit latrines can be quickly built.
Collection and treatment of sewage, especially during the rainy season, must be
implemented. In areas where typhoid fever is known to be present, the use of human excreta as fertilizers must be discouraged.

D. Health education

Health education is paramount to raise public awareness on all the above mentioned
prevention measures. Health education messages for the vulnerable communities need
to be adapted to local conditions and translated into local languages. In order to reach
communities, all possible means of communication (e.g. media, schools, women’s groups, religious groups) must be applied.
Community involvement is the cornerstone of behaviour change with regard to hygiene
and for setting up and maintenance of the needed infrastructures.
In health facilities, all staff must be repeatedly educated about the need for :

  • Excellent personal hygiene at work;
  • Isolation measures for the patient;
  • Disinfection measure.

Scientific studies report that most individuals (81%) say that they “learned something new” regarding their health, the last time they went online. The majority (80%) of people found the information through a search engine as reliable.

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