Typhoid Fever
Travel Health

From: Travel Health Information and Advice

Typhoid Fever
Typhoid fever is a bacterial infection that is caused by sewage contamination of food or water. Typhoid fever is common in underdeveloped countries where poor personal hygiene and sanitary conditions can be found.

Cause of Typhoid Fever
Typhoid fever is caused by ingestion of the Salmonellae Typhi bacteria. Once the bacteria enter the human body they rapidly multiply and invade the small intestines and the blood stream from where they can then travel to other organs such as the liver and spleen where they further multiply and cause infection before being shed in the faeces.

The bacteria is spread through contamination of food and water containing the bacteria. Poor hygiene and sanitary conditions the main causes, but a small percentage of people who have had typhoid fever may have no symptoms but still carry and subsequently shed the bacteria.

Symptoms of Typhoid Fever
After ingestion of the bacteria takes place symptoms will usually show within 7 to 14 days and last for around 6 weeks.

Prevention Of Typhoid Fever
There is a vaccine available to those who are travelling to endemic areas. Other precautions include:

Diagnosing Typhoid Fever
Diagnosis is through a blood or stool sample.

Treatment of Typhoid Fever
Treatment involves the use of antibiotics and fluid replacement therapy. Prompt treatment is often successful with many patients recovering within 10 to 14 days, however left untreated the result can be fatal.

Affected Areas
Mexico, South America, Asia, India and Egypt