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Symptoms Of Typhoid
In the first week, signs of typhoid fever include:
In the second week, the symptoms that are seen in the first week become even more severe and you may also have the following symptoms:
In a few people, potentially life-threatening symptoms such as internal bleeding, myocarditis, and perforation of the bowel are also seen.
Typhoid signs in children could be slightly different from typhoid fever symptoms in adults. Symptoms such as diarrhea are more common in children, whereas adults are more likely to become constipated. In addition to diarrhea, children also vomit. Signs of typhoid in infants include sunken fontanels, diarrhea, lethargy, and no tears when they cry.
What Causes Typhoid Fever
Typhoid is caused by the bacterium Salmonella Typhi. The organisms causing typhoid spread through contaminated water or food and in some cases, through direct contact with a person infected with the bacterium. In developing countries, the fever results from poor sanitation and polluted drinking water. In majority of the cases in industrialized countries, it is found that the bacteria causing typhoid is spread to other people through the fecal-oral route. The urine and feces of infected people contains the S.typhi bacteria. You could therefore get the infection if the food you eat is handled by a person with typhoid who has not used proper hygiene measures after having visited the bathroom. Drinking contaminated water could also allow the pathogens causing typhoid to affect you.
Even after being treated with antibiotics, a few people continue to carry the bacteria in their gallbladder or intestinal tract. The bacteria are shed in their feces sometimes infecting others. Such chronic carriers may not have any symptoms of typhoid fever but are responsible for many of the typhoid fever outbreaks. Once the person ingests the contaminated water or food, the bacteria invades his/her small intestines and temporarily enters the bloodstream. The white blood cells carry this bacterium in the spleen, liver, and bone marrow. The bacterium multiplies in these organs and enters the person’s bloodstream again. It is at this stage that the patient develops various symptoms such as fever.
Doctors prescribe antibiotics to kill the Salmonella typhi bacterium that causes typhoid fever. This treatment also provides relief from the typhoid fever symptoms. Typhoid fever treatment using antibiotics can help shorten the time period a person has the fever and also reduces any risk of death. The typhoid fever medicine prescribed by the doctor depends on various factors such as the general health and age of the patient, the typhoid fever bacteria’s strain and sensitivity to certain antibiotics, and the severity of the symptoms the patient is experiencing.
Here are some typhoid fever home remedies that can help reduce the symptoms.
Diagnosis Of Typhoid
To do the typhoid laboratory tests the doctor collects a small sample of stool, blood, bone marrow, or urine. This sample is then kept on a special medium that encourages bacteria to grow. In around 48 to 72 hours, the culture is examined under a microscope to see if there is any typhoid bacteria present. One of the most sensitive typhoid diagnostic tests is the bone marrow culture. Doctors may also opt for the Widal test for typhoid diagnosis. The Widal test takes a lot of time, and by the time a diagnosis is reached, it becomes too late to start antibiotic regimen on the patient.
It is important that you go in for prompt medical care if you have symptoms such as abdominal pain, fever, rash, and diarrhea, especially after you have visited high-risk areas or have some exposure to the disease. If you go in for early diagnosis, treatment helps reduce your risks for any kind of serious complications. A blood test for typhoid patients will be done only once the doctor recommends it.
Medications For Typhoid
Depending on the drug you use, it takes anything between 7 to 14 days for the typhoid bacteria to be completely eliminated. Some of the medications you use may have side-effects such as diarrhea and nausea.
A person with mild symptoms of typhoid fever can be treated on an outpatient basis. They have to wash their hands properly and avoid cooking food for others while they are ill. Hospitalized patients are usually kept in contact isolation when the infection is acute. Urine and feces of these patients should be disposed of carefully.
There are some vaccines available in the market today that can help prevent typhoid fever. However, these vaccines are not 100% successful at preventing typhoid, and they need to be taken every two to three years.
|Submitted on January 16, 2014|