Typhoid Fever: Causes, Symptoms, and More

typhoid fever

ComplThough a rare fever, typhoid fever is still a very serious threat, especially in the developing world, especially for children.

Typhoid fever occurs due to a type of bacteria: Salmonella typhi bacteria.

It spreads due to contamination in water or food or close contact with an infected person with typhoid fever.

Some of the common signs and symptoms of this fever are high fever, headache, stomach pain, constipation, or diarrhea.

Moreover, in most cases, you will feel better a few days after you start the antibiotic treatment.

However, a small number of people may die due to complications.

Vaccines against typhoid fever are very much effective, however, these vaccines are reserved for those who are exposed to this disease.

Or for those who are traveling to areas where typhoid fever is common.

Keep on reading to learn more about it in detail.

Symptoms of Typhoid Fever

Signs and symptoms are most likely to develop gradually, and often appear one to three weeks after exposure to the disease

Early Illness

Signs and symptoms of typhoid fever are:

Fever that starts low and increases daily, and may reach a high as 104.9 degrees Fahrenheit or 40.5 degrees celsius.

Headaches, weakness, fatigue, muscle aches, sweating, dry cough, loss of appetite, and weight loss.

Moreover, stomach pain, diarrhea, or constipation, rash, and extremely swollen stomach are symptoms of typhoid fever.

typhoid fever symptomsLater Illness

However, if you do not get treatment, you may:

  • become delirious
  • lie motionless and exhausted with your eyes half-closed in what is known as the typhoid state.

Life-threatening complications can also develop at this time.

In some cases, signs and symptoms may return up to two weeks after the fever subsides.

Causes of Typhoid Fever

Typhoid fever occurs due to dangerous bacteria: Salmonella Typhi.

Salmonella typhi is related to the bacteria that causes salmonellosis, which is another serious intestinal infection, however, they are not the same.

Fecal-Oral Transmission Route

In most cases, you might pick up typhoid bacteria while you are traveling.

Once your get infected, the infection can spread to others through the fecal-oral route.

This means that Salmonella Typhi then passes in the feces and in some cases, in the urine of the infected people.

In case you eat food that has already been contaminated by someone who has typhoid fever and who has not washed carefully after using the toilet, you can become infected.

typhoid fever causesIn developing countries, where typhoid fever is already established, most people become infected by drinking contaminated water.

The bacteria may also spread through contaminated food and also through direct contact with someone who is already infected.

Typhoid Carriers

Even after antibiotic treatment, in some cases, you might be carrying or harboring the bacteria even after recovering from typhoid fever.

You are, therefore, chronic carriers, and no longer have signs and symptoms of the disease.

However, they can still shed the bacteria on their feces and are capable of infecting others.

Risk Factors of developing Typhoid Fever

Typhoid fever is a serious worldwide threat and affects about 27 million or more people each year.

Moreover, the disease is most common in India, Southeast Asia, Africa, South America, and many other areas.

However, all around the world, children are at greater risk of getting the disease, though they often have milder symptoms than adults do.

Therefore, if you live in a country where typhoid fever is rare, you are at an increased risk if:

  • work or travel to areas where typhoid fever is established
  • work as clinical microbiologist handling Salmonella Typhi bacteria
  • have close contact with someone who is infected or has recently been infected by typhoid fever
  • drink polluted water by sewage that contains the Salmonella Typhi


Some of the complications typhoid fever may cause are:

Intestinal Bleeding or Holes

Intestinal bleeding or holes in the intestines are one of the most serious complications of typhoid fever.

Moreover, they often develop in the third week of illness, and in his condition, the small intestine or large bowel develops a hole.

It is important to note that the contents from your intestines may leak into the stomach and can also cause severe stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, and bloodstream infection, i.e. sepsis.

These are life-threatening complications and require immediate medical care.

typhoid fever 1Other, less common Complications

Some of the other less common complications are:

  • inflammation of the heart muscle or myocarditis
  • inflammation of the lining of the heart and valves or endocarditis
  • infection of major blood vessels or mycotic aneurysm
  • pneumonia
  • pancreatic inflammation
  • kidney or bladder infections
  • infection and inflammation of the membranes and fluid surrounding your brain and spinal cord or meningitis
  • psychiatric problems like delirium, hallucination, and paranoid psychosis

With quick treatment, everyone in industrialized nations recovers from typhoid fever.

However, without treatment, complications may be life-threatening.

Learn more about Affordable Dental Veneers here.

Diagnosing Typhoid Fever

Your doctor will diagnosis typhoid fever by taking your medical and travel history.

Let’s discuss it as follows:

Medical and Travel History

In case your doctor suspects typhoid fever along with the symptoms of this disease, they will take your medical and travel history.

Moreover, with the help of the culture of your blood or other body fluid or tissue, they can diagnose the presence of Salmonella typhi.

diagnosisBody Fluid or Tissue Culture

For culture, a small sample of your blood, stool, urine, or bone marrow will take place on a special medium that encourages the growth of bacteria.

Moreover, with the help of culture, your doctor can diagnose the presence of typhoid bacteria and analyze the sample under a microscope.

A bone marrow culture, on the other hand, is the most sensitive test for Salmonella typhi.

Though performing a culture test is the most common diagnostic test, other testings may help to confirm a suspected typhoid infection.

This may include tests to detect antibodies to typhoid bacteria in your blood, or a test that checks for typhoid DNA in your blood.

Treatment Options

The only effective treatment for typhoid fever is antibiotics.

One of the most common medication your doctor may prescribe are ciprofloxacin, especially for non-pregnant adults, and ceftriaxone.

Other than antibiotics, it is also important to rehydrate by drinking adequate water.

However, in severe cases, where there is perforation in the bowel, you may need surgery.

Other than Cipro, they may prescribe:

Azithromycin or Zithromax: In case you are unable to take ciprofloxacin or the bacteria are resistant to Cipro, your doctor may prescribe azithromycin.

Ceftriaxone: This one is an injectable antibiotic that is an alternative to more-complicated serious infections.

Moreover, it is important to note that you should not give this medication to children.

These drugs can cause certain side effects and long-term use can also lead to the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Typhoid Antibiotic Resistance

As with several other bacterial diseases, there is currently concern about the growing resistance of antibiotics to S. Typhi.

This is also affected the choice of drugs that are available to treat typhoid.

In reacting years. typhoid has become resistant to trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole and ampicillin.

Ciprofloxacin is one of the key medications for typhoid and is also experiencing similar difficulties.

Some studies indicate that the Salmonella Typhimurium resistance rate is around 35%.

Learn more about Vaginoplasty in Sharjah here.

Preventing Typhoid Fever

In case you are living in a country where there is less access to clean water and washing facilities, then there is often a higher number of typhoid cases.

Some of the preventive measures you can take are:


If you are traveling to a high-risk area, getting a vaccination against typhoid fever is important.

Moreover, you can achieve it by oral medication or a one-off injection:

Oral: A live, attenuated vaccine. It consists of 4 tablets, one you have to take every second data, the last of which you will need to take 1 week before travel.

vaccinationShot: An inactive vaccine, that you will have to take 2 weeks before traveling.

However, it is important to note that vaccines are not 100% effective and you should be cautious when eating and drinking.

One of the important things to note is that if you are currently ill, then you can get the vaccination, or if your child is under 6 years of age.

Furthermore, anyone with HIV should also not take the live, oral dose.

The vaccine can also have adverse effects.

About 1 in 100 people will experience fever. After the oral vaccine, there may also be gastrointestinal problems, nausea, and headaches.

However, severe side effects are rare with either one o the vaccines.

There are two types of vaccines: live, oral version, and shots.

After 3 years, it still protects individuals from infection 73% of the time. While this vaccine has more side effects.

The current vaccines are not always effective and as typhoid is also very much prevalent in poorer countries, more research can help to find better ways of preventing its spread.

Eliminating Typhoid

Even after the symptoms of typhoid fever subsides, it is still possible to be carrying the bacteria.

Moreover, this makes it hard to stamp out the disease, because the carriers who already have symptoms that subside may be less careful when washing food or interacting with others.

If you are traveling in Africa, South America, and Asia, and India, in particular, you should be vigilant.

Learn more about Best Implantologist Sharjah here.

Avoiding Infection

Typhoid fever spreads by contact and indigestion of infected human feces. This can happen through an infection through an infected water source or when handling food.

Some of the general rules you can follow while traveling to help minimize the chance of typhoid infection are:

preventionDrink water from a bottle, preferably carbonated, however, if bottled water is not available, make sure to heat it on a rolling boil for at least one minute before consuming it.

Be wary of eating anything that someone else handles. Avoid eating at street food stands, and only eat food that is still hot.

Avoid ice in drinks and raw fruits and vegetables, peel fruit yourself, and do not eat the peel.

Learn more about Teeth Whitening Medical Center here.

Final Thoughts

Typhoid fever occurs due to bacterial infection that can often lead to fever, diarrhea, and vomiting, Moreover, it can be fatal and occurs due to the bacteria Salmonella Typhi.

It often occurs due to contamination of food and drinking water that contains the bacteria and is also prevalent in places where handwashing is less frequent.


Leave a Reply