Typhoid fever is an infection that causes
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
S. typhi is spread through contaminated food, drink, or water. If you eat or drink something that is contaminated with the bacteria, the bacteria enter your body. They travel into your intestines, and then into your blood. The bacteria travel through the blood to your lymph nodes, gallbladder, liver, spleen, and other parts of the body.
Some persons become carriers of S. typhi and continue to release the bacteria in their stools for years, spreading the disease.
Typhoid fever is common in developing countries. Fewer than 400 cases are reported in the U.S. each year. Most cases in the U.S. are brought in from other countries where typhoid fever is common.
Early symptoms include
Some people with typhoid fever develop a rash called “rose spots,” which are small red spots on the abdomen and chest.
Other symptoms that occur include:
Abdominal tenderness Agitation Bloody stools
- Difficulty paying attention (attention deficit)
- Fluctuating mood
- Severe fatigue
- Slow, sluggish,
Signs and tests
Other tests that can help diagnose this condition include:
ELISAurine test to look for the bacteria that cause Typhoid fever
antibodystudy to look for substances that are specific to Typhoid bacteria Platelet count(platelet count may be low) Stool culture
Antibiotics are given to kill the bacteria. There are increasing rates of antibiotic resistance throughout the world, so your health care provider will check current recommendations before choosing an antibiotic.
Symptoms usually improve in 2 to 4 weeks with treatment. The outcome is likely to be good with early treatment, but becomes poor if complications develop.
Symptoms may return if the treatment has not completely cured the infection.
- Intestinal hemorrhage (severe
- Intestinal perforation
Kidney failure Peritonitis
When to Contact a Medical Professional
Call your health care provider if:
You have had any known exposure to typhoid fever
You have been in an
endemicarea and you develop symptoms of typhoid fever
You have had typhoid fever and the symptoms return
You develop severe abdominal pain,
decreased urine output, or other new symptoms
A vaccine is recommended for travel outside of the U.S. to places where there is typhoid fever. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website has
When traveling, drink only boiled or bottled water and eat well-cooked food.
Water treatment, waste disposal, and protecting the food supply from contamination are important public health measures. Carriers of typhoid must not be allowed to work as food handlers.