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Typhoid is a bacterial disease caused by the bacterium Salmonella typhi. It can spread throughout the body and affect many organs if not treated early. Moreover, without treatment, it can be fatal. Typhoid is highly contagious and can spread through urine, stool or spitting.
A national incidence of typhoid fever has counted approximately 360 cases per 100000 persons in a year. Annually, there are 4.5 million cases of typhoid fever in India, with almost 8930 deaths 
This bacterial illness is most commonly present in developing and underdeveloped countries and less found in developed countries. Typhoid mostly affects children rather than adults. Typhoid can remain contagious even after you stop showing symptoms.
Here’s a quick look at the symptoms, causes, prevention and medication of typhoid.
|Symptoms||High fever, headache, poor appetite, rash, abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhoea, constipation, etc.|
|Complications||Meningitis, osteomyelitis, miscarriage, ulcer, intestinal perforation, myocarditis, etc.|
|Causes||Salmonella Typhi through contaminated food, water, objects, and surfaces|
|Onset||from 7 to 10 days to 3 weeks or longer, as per treatment|
|Diagnosis||Blood test, urine test, stool test, lungs x-ray, etc.|
|Prevention||Keep your hands and surroundings clean, eat properly cooked food and drink clean water, etc.|
|Medication||Ciprofloxacin, Azithromycin, Ceftriaxone, drinking fluids, surgery, etc.|
The main symptoms of typhoid are as follows:
These typhoid symptoms usually develop after 1 or 2 weeks of a person being infected with this bacterium. You must go to a healthcare provider immediately if you start getting any of these symptoms and start your treatment quickly. Without treatment, it can take weeks or even months for you to recover fully, and the symptoms can return as well. Moreover, if you keep typhoid unmanaged, it can cause a significant risk of life-threatening complications .
The bacterium, Salmonella typhi causes typhoid. It is highly contagious and spreads through :
There are two types of typhoid-causing bacteria which are as follows :
It is a gram-negative bacterium that is responsible for causing typhoid fever. This bacterium is usually present in contaminated water and attacks the epithelial tissue of the small intestine after penetrating your body. Moreover, this bacterial fever is common in children and young adults and mostly occurs in areas with poor sanitation. It usually does not cause serious complications if managed on time and treated with proper tests and medications.
This is another gram-negative bacterium that causes another type of typhoid, commonly known as paratyphoid. Paratyphoid is a serious contagious disease that commonly affects people living in developing or underdeveloped countries. It is also spread by contaminated food and water and also through contaminated domestic animals. Here, the symptoms appear from 1 to 10 days after exposure to the bacteria, and its incubation period is shorter in children than in adults.
You should visit your doctor immediately as soon as you start seeing symptoms related to typhoid. If you opt for a healthcare checkup at an early stage of being diagnosed with this bacterium, there will be a high chance of recovering faster.
Moreover, if you have recently visited a place with a high incidence of people suffering from typhoid fever, then you must go for a quick doctor checkup. This checkup is for your safety and will determine whether you have chances of developing typhoid.
The various types of typhoid diagnostic tests carried out by your healthcare provider to identify the disease are as follows :
Among all these diagnostic tests, the most common are the blood, urine and stool tests to identify whether you have been diagnosed with typhoid bacteria. After collecting these samples, your healthcare provider will examine these under a microscope to determine the presence of Salmonella typhi. However, typhoid bacteria are not always detected in the first trial. Besides, testing it through a bone marrow sample is more accurate testing, but this is both painful and time-consuming.
The prognosis for people suffering from typhoid depends mainly on when you are visiting a doctor and starting with the treatment. Moreover, typhoid fever can be very serious, and early treatment will probably have lesser complications.
Also, after getting the medical recommendation, it is important to finish the course even if you start to feel better within a few days. This is because you may still be carrying the typhoid bacteria for a long time, even if you do not have a fever or any symptoms .
The medications or treatments available to cure typhoid are as follows:
Usually, treatment of typhoid is carried out through the intake of medicines and drugs. However, in case of some severe complications, surgery might be required. Other than this, if you feel dehydrated due to frequent vomiting and nausea, there are many fluids available on the market to make up for this hydration deficiency. Although so many options for typhoid treatment are available, it is recommended to visit a doctor immediately after seeing the symptoms .
Some steps you can take to prevent typhoid are as follows:
Despite all these precautions, typhoid is a very common disease, as all of these steps are difficult to achieve in many developing and underdeveloped countries. In such cases, there are two vaccines available to produce immunity to fight typhoid bacteria. One of these vaccines is a single-shot injection, whereas the other one is given orally in four capsules. Moreover, if you are travelling to a typhoid-prone area, then you can also take one of these vaccines.
The various complications caused due to getting infected by typhoid are as follows:
These are some of the complications, including both serious and normal problems, which can happen if you keep typhoid untreated. Among all these typhoid complications, intestinal perforation is one of the most common complications causing continuity loss of the bowel wall. This can also induce bleeding in the digestive system, making you very weak internally. Moreover, all these typhoid complications can start developing from the third week of being infected by typhoid and thus, quick checkups are mandatory .
The average cost of treating typhoid in India is approximately Rs.5300.In this, the average price of vaccines and other medications is Rs.108. However, this can vary between a range of Rs.100 and Rs.1000 depending on the complications and severity of this disease.
Typhoid, if it is kept untreated, could cause complications leading to life-threatening conditions. The cost of treating typhoid or getting vaccinated is not very expensive. However, in cases of severity, it can lead to life-threatening complications and treating these can be quite expensive.
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Foods that have high fibre should not be consumed if you have typhoid in order to digest food easily. Some high-fibre foods include raw fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains, legumes and many more. Moreover, spicy and fatty food might be difficult to digest during typhoid and hence, should be avoided.
Yes, it is possible to be contagious with typhoid even if you do not have the symptoms or have already recovered. About approximately 5% of people are still contagious and carrying typhoid bacteria, even after a year or more. They are known as long-term carriers and require constant checkups and treatment to recover completely.
Typhoid pills or medications are always better than any vaccine that is used to cure this disease. This is because a typhoid pill, commonly known as an oral typhoid vaccine, provides longer protection than any traditional injectable typhoid vaccine.
Recovering from typhoid without taking any antibiotic medicine can be risky and untreated typhoid might cause death. According to some research, it has been estimated that up to 1 in 5 people can die from unmanaged typhoid. Moreover, people who survive will have severe complications caused by the infection.
The dose recommendation for an injected typhoid vaccine is one. If you are travelling to any typhoid-prone place, then you should take this shot two weeks before the visit. Moreover, for people who remain at risk, a repeated dose after every two years is recommended. However, it can only be taken by someone who is 2 years and older.
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