Tuesday, February 21, 2017
Typhoid fever - MEDICINE
Typhoid fever is caused by Salmonella typhi bacteria. Typhoid fever is rare in industrialized countries. However, it remains a serious health threat in the developing world, especially for children.
Typhoid fever spreads through contaminated food and water or through close contact with someone who's infected. Signs and symptoms usually include high fever, headache, abdominal pain, and either constipation or diarrhea.
Most people with typhoid fever feel better within a few days of starting antibiotic treatment, although a small number of them may die of complications. Vaccines against typhoid fever are available, but they're only partially effective. Vaccines usually are reserved for those who may be exposed to the disease or are traveling to areas where typhoid fever is common.
Signs and symptoms are likely to develop gradually — often appearing one to three weeks after exposure to the disease.
Once signs and symptoms do appear, you're likely to experience:
☛ Fever that starts low and increases daily, possibly reaching as high as 104.9 F (40.5 C)
☛ Weakness and fatigue
☛ Muscle aches
☛ Dry cough
☛ Loss of appetite and weight loss
☛ Diarrhea or constipation
☛ Extremely swollen abdomen
If you don't receive treatment, you may:
☛ Become delirious
☛ Lie motionless and exhausted with your eyes half-closed in what's known as the typhoid state
☛ In addition, life-threatening complications often develop at this time.
In some people, signs and symptoms may return up to two weeks after the fever has subsided.
When to see a doctor
See a doctor immediately if you suspect you have typhoid fever. Better yet, find out in advance about medical care in the areas you'll visit, and carry a list of the names, addresses and phone numbers of recommended doctors.
If you develop signs and symptoms after you return home, consider consulting a doctor who focuses on international travel medicine or infectious diseases. A specialist may be able to recognize and treat your illness more quickly than can a doctor who isn't familiar with these areas.
Typhoid vaccination at a school in San Augustine County, Texas, 1943
source: Corina Marinescu