Typhoid: How Dangerous It Could Be?


Typhoid: How Dangerous It Could Be?

Typhoid fever, commonly known as typhoid, is a potentially deadly bacterial infection that can affect anyone. It is a potentially life-threatening bacterial infection that has affected millions of people worldwide. Typhoid is caused by the bacteria Salmonella Enterica Typhi and can be transmitted through contaminated food or water. It is a significant public health concern, especially in developing countries, and if left untreated, it can cause serious health complications.

Although typhoid is a severe disease, many people are unaware of its symptoms, causes, and treatment options. In this blog, we will explore the various aspects of typhoid, including its symptoms, causes, diagnosis, and treatment, as well as preventive measures that can be taken to reduce the risk of infection.

Whether you have been diagnosed with typhoid, know someone who has, or want to learn more about this disease, this article will provide valuable information and insights to help you understand and manage this condition.

So, let us discuss the symptoms, reason for typhoid, diagnosis, and treatment of typhoid, along with preventive measures, from its historical origins to its modern-day impact on public health.

Symptoms of Typhoid

The symptoms of typhoid usually appear 1-3 weeks after exposure to the bacteria. The initial symptoms are often mild and can easily be mistaken for other illnesses like flu. As the disease progresses, the symptoms become more severe and can include:

  • High fever, often as high as 104°F (40°C) or higher
  • Weakness and fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Abdominal pain and discomfort
  • Loss of appetite
  • Diarrhoea or constipation
  • Rash of small, flat, pink spots

If left untreated, typhoid can lead to severe complications such as internal bleeding, perforation of the bowel, and even death.

Causes of Typhoid

Typhoid is caused by the bacterium Salmonella Enterica Typhi. This bacterium is spread through contaminated food or water. People can become infected with typhoid by consuming food or water contaminated with the bacteria. Typhoid can also be spread through close contact with someone infected, such as through eating together or sharing utensils.

Risk Factors for Typhoid

Certain factors increase the risk of getting typhoid fever. These include:

  • Living in or travelling to areas with poor sanitation and hygiene
  • Being exposed to contaminated food or water
  • Being in close contact with someone who has typhoid fever
  • Having a weakened immune system, such as from HIV/AIDS or chemotherapy

Diagnosis of Typhoid

Diagnosing typhoid can be difficult because the symptoms can be similar to other illnesses. Doctors typically start by taking a medical history and performing a physical examination. Blood, stool, or urine samples may be taken to look for evidence of the bacteria for typhoid diagnosis.

Treatment of Typhoid

Typhoid is treated with antibiotics, which can help to kill the bacteria and reduce symptoms. Sometimes, hospitalisation may be required, especially if complications include dehydration or internal bleeding. Patients may be given intravenous fluids, oxygen therapy, or other supportive care during hospitalisation.

Health insurance can be beneficial for individuals who are diagnosed with typhoid fever. You get coverage for medical expenses. Health insurance plans by care Health insurance can help cover the cost of medical treatment, including hospitalisation, doctor's fees, and laboratory tests.

In addition to antibiotics, patients with typhoid should rest and stay hydrated. They should also eat a nutritious diet that is easy to digest. In severe cases, surgery may be required to repair damage to the intestines or other organs.

Prevention of Typhoid

Preventing typhoid is important, especially in areas where the disease is common. The following steps can help to reduce the risk of infection:

  • Wash hands frequently with soap and water
  • Use clean water for drinking, cooking, and brushing your teeth
  • Avoid street foods or raw foods when travelling to areas with poor sanitation
  • Get vaccinated against typhoid if travelling to high-risk areas

Typhoid Diet

Eating a nutritious and easy-to-digest diet is important during and after typhoid fever treatment. Foods that are easy to digest, such as broth, cooked vegetables, and fruits, should be consumed. Additionally, foods high in protein, such as eggs, meat, and dairy products, can help rebuild damaged tissues. However, it is important to avoid spicy and fried foods and high-fibre foods, as they can irritate the digestive system.

Historical Origin of Typhoid

The origin of typhoid is not clear, but it is believed to have been present for centuries. The first documented outbreak of typhoid fever occurred in the 16th century, and it was not until the late 19th century that the bacterium Salmonella Enterica Typhi was identified as the typhoid fever causes.

During the early years, typhoid was often called 'Gaol Fever' or "ship fever," as it was commonly associated with overcrowded jails and ships. In the 1800s, it was discovered that typhoid causes were  contaminated food and water, and improvements in sanitation and hygiene have since helped to reduce its prevalence in many parts of the world. Despite this, typhoid remains a major public health concern, particularly in areas with poor sanitation and hygiene practices.

Typhoid's Modern-Day Impact on Public Health

Here are some pointers on typhoid's modern-day impact on public health:

  • Typhoid fever remains a major public health concern, particularly in developing countries with poor sanitation and hygiene practices.
  • The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that there are approximately 11-20 million cases of typhoid fever and 128,000-161,000 typhoid-related deaths each year globally.
  • Typhoid outbreaks can occur in both developed and developing countries, significantly impacting public health and the economy.
  • In addition to its human toll, typhoid also significantly burdens healthcare systems, with the cost of typhoid treatment and hospitalisation often beyond the means of many people in developing countries.
  • The emergence of antibiotic-resistant strains of the bacterium has further complicated the treatment of typhoid fever, making it more challenging to manage and control.
  • Improvements in water and sanitation infrastructure, along with increased access to safe drinking water and vaccination, have helped reduce typhoid's burden in many parts of the world.
  • However, much work remains to be done to eliminate this disease, particularly in low-income countries with limited resources and infrastructure.


In conclusion, typhoid is a potentially deadly bacterial infection that can be transmitted through contaminated food or water. It can cause serious health complications if left untreated, so it is important to know its symptoms, causes, and treatment options.

The initial symptoms of typhoid can be mild and easily confused with other illnesses, so it is crucial to seek medical attention if any of the symptoms persist. Diagnosis can be challenging, but patients can recover fully from the disease with the appropriate tests and treatment.

Prevention of typhoid is key, especially in poor sanitation and hygiene areas. Basic hygiene practices, such as frequent handwashing and clean water consumption, can help reduce the risk of infection. Vaccination against typhoid is also recommended for individuals travelling to high-risk areas.

During and after typhoid, patients should follow a nutritious diet that is easy to digest and avoid spicy and high-fibre foods that can irritate the digestive system. With proper treatment and care, patients with typhoid can fully recover and lead a healthy life.  

>> Also Read: Everything you need to know about Viral Fever

Disclaimer - The above information is for reference purposes only: Policy Assurance and Claims at the underwriter's discretion.

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