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Typhoid Causes

Enteric fever, another name for typhoid, is caused by Salmonella Typhi and is a multisystem illness that poses a major public health concern, particularly in developing countries. Typhoid is one of the leading causes of death and morbidity in overpopulated and unsanitary areas, despite the fact that detailed research and public health efforts have reduced its occurrence. The infection advances from early gastrointestinal discomfort to a non-specific systemic illness, but it can eventually lead to a number of complications. Salmonella is assumed to spread via the ‘four Fs’: fingers, flies, fomites, and faeces. Fever typically appears in a stepladder pattern (that is, it rises and falls alternately), followed by pain in abdomen and headache.

 

 

Typhoid fever causes

Salmonella Typhi, a member of the Enterobacteriaceae family, is the primary causative agent of typhoid fever. Salmonella Typhi is often associated with the bacteria Salmonella Paratyphi, which is responsible for salmonellosis, a severe infection of the intestine, but the two are not the same.

Typhoid is typically caused by drinking water and eating foods contaminated with the S. Typhi bacteria.

Typhoid is an infectious disease that is transmitted to others by the faecal–oral route because the bacteria are present in the stool (poop) and sometimes in the urine (pee) of the infected person. When these individuals do not wash their hands after using the restroom, the bacteria on their hands contaminate the food they touch. Thus, by eating this contaminated food, one can get typhoid.

Similarly, open defecation is still common in many developing countries, making it another potential source of typhoid transmission. When a typhoid-infected person defecates in the open near any water source, it contaminates the water. As S. Typhi can stay alive in for several days, it can lead to the contamination of water sources, including groundwater, fresh water, and sewage, thus making it another major cause of typhoid.

Furthermore, flies can also transmit bacteria from faeces to food. Cut fruits left uncovered for an extended period of time are a major source of contamination in many developing countries as flies can sit over it. Also, the cut surface of papaya, due to its neutral pH, can harbour the growth of various microorganisms. Furthermore, when foods are handled by an infected person without washing their hands after using the toilet, the bacteria are transmitted to the food. When such food is consumed by healthy people, they can get infected as well.

Salmonella can also spread through poorly cooked food products, contaminated water, and the fomites of infected people and is highly prevalent in densely populated areas with poor sanitation and social chaos. Since humans are its only host, it can only be transmitted from one infected person to another. Poultry, eggs, and, on rare occasions, turtles are other sources of Salmonella.

An excessive use of antibiotics increases the likelihood of typhoid infection with both drug-sensitive and drug-resistant S. Typhi serotypes. The prolonged use of antimicrobial drugs can alter gut flora and reduce the barrier to bacterial colonisation, making Salmonella infection highly likely.

Typhoid fever is occasionally transmitted through direct contact between kids during play time and adults during anal or oral sex.
Some people become S. Typhi carriers, releasing the bacteria through their faeces for years and spreading the disease.

How bacteria affect our bodies
Our stomach is normally capable of destroying a small number of Salmonella entering our gut unless a large number of bacteria is ingested. After consuming infected food or drinking contaminated water, the Salmonella Typhi bacteria enter the stomach and adhere to the small intestine, where they start to penetrate rapidly. If the immune system fails to stop the S. Typhi infection, the bacteria multiply and spread to the bloodstream, where the first signs of disease manifest as fever, stomach pain, and diarrhoea or constipation. Once they reach the bloodstream and are left untreated, they travel through the blood to your liver, spleen, lymph nodes, gallbladder, and other organs.

 

Carriers of typhoid

Even after receiving antibiotics, a small number of individuals who have recovered from typhoid continue to harbour the bacteria. These individuals, referred to as ‘chronic carriers’, show no signs of the disease or its symptoms. They do, however, spread the bacteria through their faeces and can infect others.

Signs and symptoms of typhoid fever

People usually present with a persistent fever that can reach 103 to 104 °F (39 to 40 °C) in a typical stepladder fashion (fever with the alternative phases of high and low temperatures).

 

Other typhoid fever symptoms include:
• Constipation or diarrhoea
• Appetite loss
• Tummy ache
• Headache
• Cough
• Rash forming rose-coloured spots

 

Risk factors
• Typhoid infection is most common in school-aged children and young adults.
• It is common among individuals who eat outside.
• It is usually a disease caused by poor sanitation practises and contaminated water.
• This infection occurs commonly from July to September.
• Cooks, as carriers of infection, are one of the typhoid causing reasons.

 

Complications of typhoid

Typhoid fever complications typically occur in individuals who have not been managed with proper antibiotic treatment or who have not been treated promptly.
In these cases, roughly one in 10 people develops complications, which usually appear during the third week of the infection.
The following are the two most common complications associated with untreated typhoid fever:
• Internal gastrointestinal bleeding
• The infection spreads to nearby tissue due to the rupture (perforation) of a segment of the gastrointestinal tract or bowel.

 

Relapse of typhoid

Some individuals with typhoid fever become ill again after fully recovering. This is known as a relapse. It generally happens around a week after finishing antibiotics, but it can occur a few weeks or months later in a few cases. Your symptoms will most likely be milder than they were the first time you got typhoid.
If your symptoms return, contact your doctor right away. You will almost certainly need to take another round of antibiotics.

 

Does typhoid spread through kissing?

No, typhoid is not spread through kissing. Typhoid fever is not usually transmitted from person to person. You can get it, however, if you touch anything they have touched, and they do not rinse their hands after using the restroom.

 

Is it possible to be contagious even after recovering from typhoid fever?

Yes, unlike the majority of illnesses, you can be communicable with typhoid even if you are symptom free. A year or more after recovering from typhoid fever, about 5% of people still remain contagious. These people are referred to as ‘chronic carriers’. It is critical to get evaluated after you start feeling better to ensure you do not spread typhoid to others.

 

How can I avoid getting typhoid fever?

If you intend to travel in a region prone to typhoid, you should take the following precautions:
• Obtain a typhoid fever vaccination
• Learn how to avoid getting sick from beverages and food

How do I look after myself?
Once you recover from typhoid fever, it is essential that you follow up with your healthcare provider. You should be screened to make sure that you are no longer infectious. Keep an eye out for signs of relapse

.If you are still infectious or have a relapse, you may require additional antibiotic treatment.

 

Food safety practises to avoid typhoid fever

Vaccines, although not 100% effective, are the best way to protect yourself against typhoid. In addition, you should also try and avoid eating or drinking anything that might be contaminated with Salmonella. Typhi or any other bacteria. This is true both at home and on the road.

Food safety practises include the following:
• If you are sick, do not cook for others.
• Prior to and after preparing food or eating, as well as after using the restroom, wash your hands with warm water and soap.
• Wash utensils and surfaces used in food preparation and eating before and after use.
• If you are not sure if the food that you are eating is safe, stick to well-cooked or packaged foods.
• Do not consume untreated water or meals cooked with untreated water. If you are not sure, drink and prepare food with bottled water.

Final note

Typhoid fever may appear to be a thing of the past, but it still kills people around the world. If you reside in or plan to visit a region where typhoid is prevalent, vaccinating yourself against the disease is the most effective way to avoid falling ill and infecting others.
Consult your doctor right away if you suspect you have typhoid. If you have recovered from typhoid: get tested to ensure you are not unknowingly spreading disease to others.

 

FAQs

Is typhoid associated with headaches?

Yes, a patient suffering from typhoid may have a chronic headache, mostly in the frontal region, as a fever sequel.

How much fever does typhoid cause?

You get high fever in typhoid; it increases gradually and reaches up to 104.9 °F (40.5 °C).

Which are the most common typhoid causes?

Eating and drinking contaminated food and water are the two most common causes of typhoid. Other causes include coming in contact with an infected or a carrier person.

Does eating food out cause typhoid?

Yes, eating out may be one of the causes of typhoid. Food prepared outside has high chances of being contaminated due to poor handling and sanitation practices.

Does stomach pain mean typhoid?

Stomach problems can be associated with many problems. It is also one of the symptoms of typhoid.

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