Typhoid fever: What it is? Symptoms, transmission, and prevention
There are many ways to avoid typhoid fever. Below are some of the most important.
Typhoid fever can be caused by Salmonella typhi. It can cause high fever, dry cough, and other symptoms like red patches on the skin, spleen augmentation, and low appetite.
Typhoid fever can be linked to low socioeconomic status, particularly poor sanitation and hygiene. Therefore, the disease transmission is mainly via the intake of contaminated food and water.
Typhoid fever should be treated as soon as possible. This will help avoid complications such as perforation of the intestines, abdominal hemorrhages, and generalized infections. It is important that the patient rests, drinks plenty of fluids, and follows all medical advice to use antibiotics.
Typhoid fever symptoms
Typhoid fever symptoms are usually mild at first. The bacteria takes between one and three weeks to multiply, leading to more severe symptoms. The following symptoms characterize typhoid fever:
- High fever
- Dry cough
- The belly hurts;
- Diarrhea or constipation
- General malaise;
- Larger liver and spleen;
- A loss of appetite
- Dry cough
- Change in heart rate;
- Apply reddish-colored brushes to the skin, particularly the abdomen and chest.
Typhoid fever must be treated promptly to avoid complications that could put your life at risk.
How the diagnosis is made
A general practitioner or an infectologist diagnoses typhoid flu by looking at the symptoms and considering the individual’s hygiene and life habits.
Blood, urine, and feces tests may be performed to detect signs of infection. To confirm the diagnosis, you may also need to perform microbiological tests like coculture or blood culture.
How transmission works
Transmission of the bacterium that causes typhoid fever is mainly caused by the intake of water and foods contaminated with urine or feces containing it. Unpasteurized milk, seafood, and vegetables are the main food sources for typhoid-related illnesses.
It is also possible to spread the disease by touching the secretions or hands of someone with the disease.
What is the treatment?
Typhoid fever is usually treated at home using antibiotics prescribed by the doctor. For a period of 14 days, the antibiotics are administered. In the case of resistance of Salmonella typhi to Chloramphenicol, the doctor may indicate other antibiotics such as Ampicillin, Sulfamethoxazole-Trimethoprim, Amoxicillin, Ciprofloxacin, or Ceftriaxone, for example. If there are no other symptoms or signs, it is important to follow the doctor’s advice and administer antibiotic treatment. This will ensure that the bacteria is eliminated.
It is recommended that the patient remains awake and that fluid intake be limited to ensure proper hydration. The patient may need to be admitted to the hospital to receive medication and serum through the vein in extreme cases.
Drinking lots of tea or filtered water is a good idea to keep hydrated. Avoid foods rich in fat and sugar. You can take several baths throughout the day to lower your fever and take dipyrone or paracetamol at the appropriate times. In the event of diarrhea, laxatives and foods that trap the intestinal wall should not be used.
The symptoms usually disappear after five days of antibiotic treatment. However, it is important to continue the treatment as directed by the doctor. Bacteria can stay in the body for up to 4 months without causing symptoms.
Typhoid fever prevention
These are the recommendations for typhoid-related fever treatment.
- Before and after you use the bathroom and before and during cooking.
- Before you drink the water, boil it or filter it.
- Consume cooked or uncooked foods.
- Prefer to eat cooked food
- Do not eat outside of the home.
- Avoid visiting places that have poor sanitary or hygiene conditions.
- Don’t allow the child to eat food or drink from school water fountains.
- Be careful not to let your children place objects in their mouths as they could be contaminated.
- For the child, separate a bottle of mineral water or boiling or filtered water.
The typhoid fever vaccine is also recommended to prevent the onset of the disease. This is recommended for those who travel to areas with a high incidence of the diseases