Typhoid: Symptoms, treatment, causes, and prevention

Typhoid fever and paratyphoid fever are life-threatening illnesses. Typhoid causes a high fever, fatigue, weakness, stomach pains, headache, loss of appetite, and sometimes a rash. If it is not treated, it can kill up to 30% of people who get it. Without prompt treatment, typhoid fever can cause serious complications and can be fatal.

Alt text= Typhoid Fever
Typhoid Fever

Cause of Typhoid Fever

Typhoid usually transmits by water or food, in much the same way as cholera. People who are infected excrete live bacteria in their feces and urine. They are usually contagious for a few days before any symptoms develop, so they don’t know they need to take extra precautions. If they don’t wash their hands properly, the typhoid bacillus can be transferred to food or water and from there to another person. Also, it can be spread directly from person to person via contaminated fingers.

This type of bacterial infection passes on either by drinking contaminated water or by eating contaminated food in simple terms the pathway. Typhoid fever is more common in unhygienic places. This infection spreads from an infected person to a healthy person and also from a carrier containing this bacteria (Salmonella typhi) without any symptoms to a healthy person in whom the symptoms can develop.

Typhoid fever is most common in tropical regions especially in countries like India. However, in other western continents and countries, this type of bacterial infection is not that common.

This type of bacterial infection is curable if it is treated at the correct time and stage. Treatment of Typhoid fever and paratyphoid fever are antibiotics. If this type of bacterial infection is left untreated or if the course of antibiotics is not completed then this bacterial disease can be fatal as well and may cause various other types of serious diseases such as kidney diseases, heart diseases, etc.

STAGES OF TYPHOID FEVER

Generally, the stage of typhoid fever or enteric fever indicates that at what level of this bacterial disease the person is currently. Such as with each progressive stage, the disease and the chances of this disease becoming fatal increases. There are basically four stages of enteric fever or typhoid fever. The list below shows the four stages of the bacterial disease:

Stage 1

  • The main cause of the fever is by a bacteria as Salmonella typhi
  • This type of bacteria is a gram negative type of bacteria
  • This bacteria usually transmits by feaco – oral method
  • As this bacteria (Salmonella typhi) enters in the infected person’s body through faeco – oral method or by directed contact with an infected person it resides in the infected person’s intestine.
  • If this bacteria (Salmonella typhi) enters in the small bowel epithelium after ingestion it appears by cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR)
  • All these procedures appear in the initial stage this is in the stage 1 of enteric fever.

Stage 2

  • Generally, in this next stage, that is stage 2 of this type of bacterial infection the diseases tries to progress more and the symptoms are much likely to appear in this stage
  • Generally, the bacteria that causes enteric fever (Salmonella typhi) moves intracellularly in the submucosa
  • Initially, this bacteria moves in the second part of the Payer’s patch
  • Such as this moving of bacteria in the second part of Payer’s patch leads to hypertrophy via recruitment of mononuclear cells and lymphocytes

Stage 3

  • After almost 2 to 3 weeks of the proliferation in the small intestine itself this bacterial cells of Salmonella typhi move to other parts of the body as well via the blood stream
  • After the small intestine, the cells of the bacteria releases into the bile
  • Such as after reaching in the bile, these bacterial cells re – infect the ileal lymphoid tissue
  • Then these bacterial cells go and infect the liver and spleen
  • In the stage 3, the bacteria spreads to various parts of the body via the blood stream

Stage 4

  • Stage 4 is probably the last stage of enteric fever if not diagnosed and treated in the initial stages
  • For the most part, in this stage the bacterial cells that cause enteric fever go and spread in the reticuloendothelial system via the lymphatic system and the blood stream
  • Generally, the replication that takes places within the reticuloendothilial system is the mark of enteric fever
  • Stage 4 is probably the last and final stage of enteric fever if not diagnosed and treated well in the initial stages.

SYMPTOMS OF TYPHOID FEVER

The main symptom of enteric fever is the fever itself, diarrhea and vomiting. Generally, the symptoms that appear in a person who is infected by this type of bacterial infection entirely depend on at which stage of the disease the person is suffering currently. The most common and main symptoms that occur in a person are:

CAUSES OF TYPHOID FEVER

  • In particular, the main cause of this type of bacterial infection is its causative agent Salmonella typhi that causes this type of disease.
  • Such as the other causes that might cause this type of bacterial infection in a healthy individual are its transmission ways
  • This type of bacterial infection is either transmitted by feco – oral transmission route or through people who are the carriers of this bacteria and they do not have any symptoms.

DIAGNOSIS OF TYPHOID FEVER

If a person has an enteric fever then the doctor might suggest some of the diagnostic tests diagnose this type of bacterial infection. Generally, there are various diagnostic tests that are available. Some of the diagnostic tests that one might consider while thinking about the diagnosis of bacterial infection are:

  • Reviewing medical history of the suspected patient
  • Reviewing travel history of the suspected patient
  • Blood tests
  • Urine test
  • Stool examination
  • Typhoid test

TREATMENT OF TYPHOID FEVER

Generally, the kind of treatment an infected person receives is entirely based on the symptoms the person is having and at what stage of the disease the person is currently. Some of the treatments that are available for this type of bacterial infection are: