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  • Writer's pictureDr. Karuturi Subrahmanyam

Typhoid


Typhoid is a serious bacterial infection that can affect your intestines and bloodstream. It is caused by a type of bacteria called Salmonella typhi, which can spread through contaminated food, water, or contact with an infected person. Typhoid can cause high fever, rash, diarrhea, vomiting, and other symptoms. If left untreated, it can lead to life-threatening complications such as bleeding, bowel perforation, sepsis, and brain damage. Typhoid can be prevented by getting vaccinated, practicing good hygiene, and avoiding risky foods and drinks.


What are the symptoms of typhoid?

The symptoms of typhoid usually appear 1 to 3 weeks after exposure to the bacteria. The most common symptoms are:

  • High fever of up to 104°F (40°C) that may last for several days or weeks

  • Rash of rose-colored spots on the neck and abdomen

  • Diarrhea or constipation

  • Loss of appetite

  • Nausea and vomiting

  • Weakness and fatigue

  • Abdominal pain and bloating

  • Headache


Some people may have mild or no symptoms at all, but they can still carry and spread the bacteria to others. Some people may also have a relapse of symptoms after they recover.


How is typhoid diagnosed and treated?

If you have symptoms of typhoid, you should see a doctor as soon as possible. The doctor will ask you about your medical history, travel history, and exposure to possible sources of infection. The doctor will also take a sample of your blood, stool, urine, or bone marrow to test for the presence of the bacteria.


The only way to treat typhoid is with antibiotics that can kill the bacteria. You will need to take the antibiotics for 7 to 14 days, depending on the type and severity of your infection. You should follow the instructions carefully and complete the full course of treatment, even if you feel better. This will help prevent the bacteria from becoming resistant to the antibiotics and causing a more serious infection.


You should also drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration and eat light foods that are easy to digest. You should avoid alcohol, caffeine, spicy foods, and dairy products until your symptoms improve. You should also rest as much as possible and avoid strenuous activities.


How can typhoid be prevented?

The best way to prevent typhoid is to get vaccinated before traveling to areas where typhoid is common. There are two types of vaccines available: one that is given as a shot and one that is taken as pills. Both vaccines are safe and effective, but they do not provide 100% protection. You will need to get a booster dose every few years to maintain your immunity.


You should also practice good hygiene and avoid risky foods and drinks when traveling or living in areas where typhoid is common. You should:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water before eating or preparing food, after using the toilet, and after touching anything that may be contaminated

  • Drink only bottled water or water that has been boiled or treated with chlorine or iodine

  • Avoid ice cubes, tap water, fountain drinks, and unpasteurized milk and dairy products

  • Eat only cooked food that is served hot and avoid raw or undercooked meat, seafood, eggs, fruits, and vegetables

  • Peel fruits and vegetables yourself and wash them with clean water

  • Avoid food from street vendors, buffets, or open markets

  • Avoid contact with people who have symptoms of typhoid or who may be carriers of the bacteria


If you think you have been exposed to typhoid or if you develop any symptoms of typhoid, you should consult your doctor right away. Typhoid is a serious infection that can be fatal if not treated promptly and properly. With early diagnosis and treatment, most people recover fully from typhoid. With proper vaccination and prevention measures, you can reduce your risk of getting typhoid.


Dr. Karuturi Subrahmanyam, MD, FRCP (London), FACP (USA)

Internal Medicine Specialist


Kify Hospital

Danavaipeta

Rajahmundry

Phone : 85000 23456

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