Typhoid fever is a contagious infection caused by the bacteria S. Typhi (Salmonella Typhi). It initially causes fever, and in the later phase of the disease, it gives severe warnings in the digestive system. It can be a potentially (critical) life-threatening illness. The virus spreads by contaminated water, or food and sanitary (hygiene) conditions define its spread. The bacteria are already in the intestinal tract and bloodstream of the infected person. Antibiotics are enough for the medication of typhoid fever. Do you know that it is a critical disease? Also, it can last for many weeks, and full recovery takes some time. How is the typhoid fever characterized by? The typical course of temperature is between 103-104°F and ulceration of the bowels. The signs of typhoid occur slowly. It often begins from 1 to 3 weeks after exposure to the virus, but the symptoms may progress and develop quicker in kids. The symptoms of typhoid are diarrhoea, high fever, constipation, headache, abdominal pain, malaise, fatigue, cough, weakness, anorexia, bradycardia (slowing of heart rate).
First (1st) Week of Typhoid
- High fever (within the range of 103-104°F)
- Fatigue, weakness, and exhaustion
- Change in stool consistency
- Pain in the abdomen
- constipation or diarrhoea
- Headache and sore throat
Constipation is more common in adults, whereas children develop diarrhoea more often. Do you know that rash usually occurs in the second (2nd) week of illness? They appear as small, flat, rose-coloured spots on the upper abdomen or lower chest. Rashes generally disappear in two to five days, though they last for a few days.
Second (2nd) Week of Typhoid
The typhoid fever progresses, if the disease is not treated, and in the second (2nd) stage, the person is usually very sick and can undergo:
- Continuous high fever.
- Change in stool consistency
- Stool in diarrhoea has the colour and texture of pea soup.
- Considerable weight loss.
- Extreme fatigue, weakness and exhaustion.
- Bloated or distended abdomen.
Third (3rd) Week of Thyroid
By the third (3rd) week of illness, the infection worsens, and you may have the following signs beside the ones as mentioned earlier:
- Extreme exhaustion
- the person may lie exhausted and motionless with eyes half-closed (known as the typhoid situation)
Life-threatening complexities such as myocarditis and intestinal perforation may develop in the third (3rd) week of illness. With the treatment in typhoid fever, improvement is slow. The temperature decreases gradually, but it can return if the procedure is not appropriate.
Supportive therapy and typhoid
Other methods which are given to control your signs include:
- Anti-pyretic: Medicines are given to reduce fever, such as ibuprofen and paracetamol.
- Liquids: Drinking liquids helps to prevent the high temperature, dehydration and diarrhoea. If you are severely dehydrated, your doctor gives fluids through a vein in your arm (intravenously).
- Diet: Eat a nutritious and healthy diet. Avoid spicy and fried foods and eat easy to digest food.
If you are on medication for typhoid, it is essential to follow the following:
- Take your antibiotics (both the dose and duration) as recommended by your doctor.
- After using the bathroom wash your hands thoroughly with water and soap
- Avoid serving or preparing food for others.
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