What is typhoid fever?
Typhoid fever is an acute illness that is usually associated with fever caused by the bacteria Salmonella enterica serotype Typhi. It can also be caused by Salmonella paratyphi, a related bacterium that usually causes a less severe illness.
The bacteria are deposited in water or food by a human carrier and are then spread to other people in the area. It is endemic in unhygienic environment.
If it is not treated, it can kill up to 30% of people who get it.
How Do People Get Typhoid Fever?
Usually, Typhoid fever is contracted by consumption of bacteria contaminated food, food materials or water.
Generally, 3%-5% of people become carriers of the bacteria after the acute illness. Others suffer a very mild illness that goes unrecognized. These people may become long-term carriers of the bacteria — even though they have no symptoms — and be the source of new outbreaks of typhoid fever for many years. (WEB MD)
Typhoid fever symptoms
Generalized aches and pains,
Testing for typhoid fever
A diagnosis of typhoid fever can usually be confirmed by analysing samples of blood, poo (stools) or pee (urine).
These will be examined under a microscope for the Salmonella typhi bacteria that cause the condition.
The bacteria aren’t always detected the first time, so you may need to have a series of tests.
Testing a sample of bone marrow is a more accurate way of diagnosing typhoid fever.
But getting the sample is both time-consuming and painful, so it’s usually only used if other tests are inconclusive.
If typhoid fever is confirmed, other members of your household may also need to be tested in case you have passed the infection on to them. (NHS UK).
The licensed Ty21a and Vi polysaccharide vaccines are efficacious in adults and children older than two years in endemic countries
Injectable (inactivated) Vaccines should not be given to children younger than 2 years of age
Oral (live) typhoid vaccine should not be given until at least 3 days after taking antibiotics and should not be given to children less than 6yrs.
Given as single dose and repeated every two yrs
Typhoid is found throughout the world, but it’s more likely to occur in areas where there’s poor sanitation and hygiene.
High-risk areas include:
The Indian subcontinent
South and Southeast Asia