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Typhoidfever is an infective illness caused by a bacteria called Salmonella typhi (S.typhi).  There is another illness, Paratyphoid fever, caused by Salmonella paratyphi A, B and C. Together, they are referred to as ENTERIC FEVER. However, paratyphoid fever is usually milder.

Both are spread via contaminated food and/or water.

The period between infection and manifestation of symptoms is 10 to 14 days

S.typhi can survive in water for 7 days, in sewage for 14days, and in ice cream for 1 month.

It affects all age groups, male and female alike.

Humans are the only reservoir of infection.

Some people are CARRIERS of the infection and shed the organism in their faeces and/ or urine. The organism hides in their gall bladder and is "discharged" intermittently.


How does one get infected?

  •   Contaminated food,directly by a carrier food handler
  •   Contaminated water : from a polluted water source, or that contaminated by faeces.
  •   Milk borne: either by direct contamination via a carrier or from utensils
  •   Ice cream: directly contaminated via a carrier
  •   Vegetables and salads, especially if grown with human faeces as manure
  •  Flies



-First week:

  •   Fever
  •   Headache
  •   Body pains
  •   Constipation
  •   Vomiting and stooling in children

By the end of second week, complications may set in such as:

  •   Perforation of the intestine
  •   Meningitis
  •   Kidney infection
  •   Arthritis


Important laboratory tests:

-First week

  •   White cell count
  •   Blood culture

-Second week

  •   Stool and urine culture


WIDAL REACTION IS NOT A RELIABLE TEST FOR DIAGNOSIS and should be interpreted with caution especially in those who have been vaccinated.



  •   Sanitary disposal of faeces
  •   Water purification
  •   Good personal hygiene
  •   Hand washing
  •   Vaccination


After treatment, stool and urine samples should be negative for the bacteria on 3 occasions carried out at minimum of 48hrs interval.



Ignorance can kill. Stay informed, stay healthy.


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