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What Is Typhoid?

Typhoid, also known as Typhoid fever or enteric fever, is a potentially fatal multisystemic illness caused primarily by the bacteria Salmonella typhi. The protean manifestations of typhoid fever make this disease a true diagnostic challenge. The classic presentation includes fever, malaise, diffuse abdominal pain, and constipation. Untreated, typhoid fever is a grueling illness that may progress to delirium, obtundation, intestinal hemorrhage, bowel perforation, and death within one month of onset. Survivors may be left with long-term or permanent neuropsychiatric complications.
Typhoid is usually curable, but some bacterial strains are becoming increasingly resistant to antibiotics.
If untreated, about 10% to 16% of people with typhoid will die. This drops to less than 1% when people are treated promptly.

   Causes of Typhoid Fever:

Typhoid is usually transmitted by water or food, in much the same way as cholera. People who are infected excrete live bacteria in their feces and urine. They are usually contagious for a few days before any symptoms develop, so they don't know they need to take extra precautions. If they don't wash their hands properly, the typhoid bacillus can be transferred to food or water and from there to another person. Also, it can be spread directly from person to person via contaminated fingers.
About 3% of infected people (treated or not) become asymptomatic carriers of Salmonella typhi. This means that they continue to shed bacteria in their feces for at least a year and often for life but don't have any symptoms of typhoid. There are a small number of typhoid carriers in every country. Even Canada and the United States report dozens of locally transmitted cases of typhoid each year, though most cases in these countries are among travellers or people immigrating who are ill when they arrive.

   Symptoms of Typhoid fever or Enteric fever:
  • Fever, that starts low and increases daily, often to as high as 103 or 104 F (39.4 or 40 C).
  • Headache & loss of appetite.
  • Weakness and fatigue.
  • Feeling sick.
  • Either Diarrhea or severe constipation.
  • A rash made up of small pink spots.
  • Confusion, such as not knowing where you are or what is going on around you.
  • Life-threatening complications often develop at this time.

Treating typhoid fever at Maheshwari Hospital:

Typhoid fever can usually be successfully treated with a course of antibiotic medication. In most cases, you can be treated at home, but hospital admission may be required if the condition is severe.
Hospital admission is usually recommended if you have severe symptoms, such as persistent vomiting, severe diarrhoea or a swollen stomach. As a precaution, young children who develop typhoid fever may be admitted to hospital.
At Maheshwari hospital, you will be given antibiotic injections and may also be given fluids and nutrients directly into a vein thorugh an intravenous drip.
Surgery may be required if you develop any life-threatening complications, such as internal bleeding or a section of your digestive system splitting. However, this is very rare in people being treated with antibiotics. Read more about complications of typhoid fever.
Most people respond well to our hospital treatment and improve within three to five days. However, it may take several weeks until you are well enough to leave hospital.