Malaria and typhoid fever are diseases which are often confused with each other.
- This could be primarily because both are caused by parasites and are sometimes known to exhibit similar symptoms.
- In addition, if not treated adequately in time, typhoid and malaria are often known to assume fatal proportions.
- Both can be responsible for several health related complications with lifetime repercussions, which can be causes of grave concern.
However, according to medical experts, the chances of death are higher when you are affected by a serious malaria strain when compared to those afflicted with typhoid. Early detection is mandatory in both, though.
How to Distinguish Typhoid Fever from Malaria
The best way to distinguish between the two diseases is to categorise the correlations they have.
- The causes of both diseases are totally different. Whereas mosquitoes are responsible for malaria, typhoid is caused by the salmonella typhi bacteria. However, there is one common factor between the two. Salmonella typhi is known to breed in dirty water and unhealthy conditions which are prevalent in developing third world nations. Coincidentally, most of these countries lie in the tropical regions which are ideal conditions for the breeding of mosquitoes as well.
- The symptoms of both these diseases also do vary to a certain extent. Mostly, a malaria infection will manifest itself through chills, fevers, nausea, vomiting and sometimes even diarrhoea. However, the symptoms of typhoid may be different at various stages of the disease. The initial stages of the disease are manifested through stomach pain, skin rashes, extreme muscle weakness and fatigue along with high fever. As the illness progresses, patients may witness stomach distension and further weight loss. The third and the final stage can see complete lack of body motion. Sometimes, the patient might also enter a delirious phase.
- Most often, the diagnosis of malaria is considered to be far simpler than that of typhoid. A simple blood test is enough to decide whether the person is suffering from malarial infection or not. However, in order to detect the presence of salmonella typhi, doctors have to test the blood, stool, urine as well as bone marrow of the patient in question. The samples need to be stored in a controlled environment for about 48-72 hours, before the presence of salmonella typhi can be detected.
- The cure is different too. A malaria infection will require antimalarial drugs whereas antibiotics are used to treat typhoid. Typhoid is also adequately treated by administering fluids, a high nutrition diet and sometimes even through intravenous nutrition.
These are some of the basic differences between these two killer diseases. However, should you be experiencing similar or near similar symptoms, seek medical assistance immediately.
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