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Typhoid fever is a bacterial infection that occurs due to the bacteria. Most commonly, it occurs due to the bacteria Salmonella typhi. However, sometimes a bacteria known as Salmonella paratyphi can also cause it, but that is rare. The common symptom of typhoid is stomach ache accompanied by high-grade fever.
In well-developed countries, typhoid is not prevalent. But in underdeveloped countries, it is still a problem. Typhoid is more common among children as compared to adults. If left untreated, typhoid can lead to life-threatening complications.
To treat it, your healthcare provider will prescribe antibiotics. However, some people may die of complications. Vaccines are available against it, but they are partially effective and reserved for those traveling to typhoid prevalent areas.
If you or your child has a complaint of stomachache, you should consult with a healthcare provider as it can be due to some serious illness. For an expert opinion, you can visit Best Internal Medicine Specialist in Islamabad.
What are The Symptoms of Typhoid?
The symptoms of typhoid develop slowly and gradually, often after three to five days of exposure. They may vary from early to later stages.
The early-stage symptoms of typhoid are:
- Low-grade fever can turn into high-grade fever
- Body aches
- Stomach pain
- Loss of appetite
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Swollen stomach
Typhoid, if left untreated, can become life-threatening. It can lead to complications such as:
- Typhoid state- a condition in which the person lies motionless with half eyes opened and half-closed, and does not move the body.
The person should be treated in the initial stages. If left untreated, typhoid can lead to life-threatening complications and even death. Therefore do not take it lightly. You should take the medications as prescribed by the healthcare provider and do plenty of rest.
What are the Causes for Typhoid Fever?
Typhoid is caused by bacteria. In most cases, Salmonella typhi causes it. However, in some cases, Salmonella paratyphi can also be the causative agent.
It is transmitted from one person to another through a fecal-oral route. If you eat something infected with Salmonella typhi or paratyphi, you may end up getting it.
Moreover, some people do not know, and they can be carrying typhoid causing bacteria- those people are called typhoid carriers. It can even occur after completing the antibiotic course. At this stage, the person can transmit it to others and may not have any symptoms.
What are the Risk Factors for Getting Typhoid Fever?
Typhoid is a serious illness that should not be taken lightly. It is more common in children, but they have mild symptoms as compared to adults.
Factors that can raise the chances of getting typhoid fever are:
- Living in an underdeveloped area or traveling to it
- If you work as a clinical microbiologist in the lab and handle samples of Salmonella typhi
- Have had close contact with someone who has got typhoid
- Eating food that has been cooked by the person having typhoid
- If you do not wash your hands before eating something
- Drinking polluted or untreated water in the underdeveloped countries
- Eating food that is not fully cooked
- Eating fruits and vegetables without taking their peel off
What are the Complications of Typhoid?
Typhoid, if left untreated, can lead to complications, such as:
- Holes in the intestines
- Myocarditis- inflammation of the heart muscle
- Mycotic aneurysm- infection of the major artery
- Urinary tract infections
- Paranoid psychosis
The Bottom Line
Typhoid is a bacterial disease that spreads most commonly through drinking contaminated water. To treat it, your healthcare providers will prescribe antibiotics along with symptomatic relief treatment. If you have any symptoms of typhoid, you should visit the healthcare provider as soon as possible. To get an expert opinion, you can consult with Best Internal Medicine Specialist in Karachi.