Key facts about typhoid fever
Typhoid fever, also known as enteric fever, is a potentially fatal infection that affects the small intestine primarily. It is caused by the bacteria Salmonella Typhi (S. Typhi). It is typically transmitted through the consumption of contaminated water or food containing the S. Typhi bacteria. Prolonged pyrexia (fever and stepwise pattern), headache, fatigue, abdominal pain, nausea, and diarrhoea or constipation are all common symptoms associated with typhoid. Some patients may also experience a rash (salmon coloured, rose spots).
Typhoid fever can be successfully treated with antibiotics, which work by killing the Salmonella bacteria. Your doctor will prescribe antibiotics, which may include:
• Ciprofloxacin, levofloxacin, or ofloxacin
• Cefixime, ceftriaxone, or cefotaxime
Typhoid is usually treatable at home, but if it is severe, you may require hospitalisation. If you are diagnosed with typhoid fever in its initial stages, you will be prescribed antibiotics. The majority of people need this antibiotic course for around 7 to 14 days; however, due to increasing resistance to various antibiotics by some of the Salmonella strains, treatment is becoming increasingly complicated.
Any blood, faeces, or urine samples collected during your diagnosis will typically be evaluated in a laboratory to identify which strain of Salmonella you are infected with so that you can be treated with the appropriate antibiotics.
Within 2 to 3 days of starting antibiotics, your symptoms must begin to improve. However, it is crucial that you complete the course in order for the bacteria to be removed completely from your body.
Make sure you drink plenty of fluids, get enough rest, and eat regularly. It may be easier for you to consume smaller meals more frequently rather than three larger meals a day.
You should also practise proper hygiene, such as washing your hands regularly with soap and warm water, to decrease the probability of transmitting the infectious disease to others.
Staying off of school or work
Most people who are getting typhoid fever treatment can resume school or work as soon as they feel better.
Individuals who handle food and vulnerable people, including children under the age of 5 years, the elderly, and those in poor health, are exceptions to this rule. In these cases, you or your kid should only resume school or work after test results on three stool (poop) samples collected at 48-hour intervals show negative for the bacteria.
Treatment in a hospital
If you have severe typhoid fever symptoms, including severe diarrhoea, persistent vomiting, or a swollen stomach, you may be hospitalized. As a precautionary measure, children who develop typhoid may be admitted to the hospital.
In the hospital, you will receive antibiotic injections as well as fluids and nutrients delivered directly into a vein through an intravenous drip.
If you develop life-threatening fatal complications, including the intestinal rupture of a segment of your digestive system and internal bleeding, surgical repair may be required; however, this is extremely uncommon in antibiotic-treated patients.
Most individuals respond well to the treatment received during hospitalisation and start improving between 3 and 5 days, but it may take several weeks before you are sufficiently recovered to leave.
How is typhoid fever treated?
The only effective treatment for typhoid is antibiotic therapy.
Is a blood test required for typhoid treatment?
Yes, a blood test is required to verify the typhoid diagnosis and strain of the typhoid bacteria.
How much does the typhoid test cost?
The cost of a typhoid test varies depending on location and laboratory, but the minimum cost is Rs. 250.