Typhoid Fever Risk Factors, Causes, Prevention And Treatment


The primary cause of typhoid fever, sometimes referred to as enteric fever, is salmonella bacterium. In areas where few individuals possess the germs, typhoid fever is uncommon. Additionally, it is uncommon when human waste disposal is controlled and water is treated to remove bacteria. The United States is one location where typhoid fever is uncommon. Africa and South Asia are the regions with the greatest number of cases or frequent outbreaks. In areas where it is more prevalent, it poses a major hazard to health, particularly for youngsters.

Typhoid fever is brought on by germs in food and drink. Typhoid fever can also be brought on by having close contact with someone who is infected with the salmonella bacterium. These signs include:

  • Headache
  • Stomach aches.
  • Bloating or diarrhoea.

The majority who have typhoid fever recover around a week after beginning antibiotic therapy to destroy germs. However, there is a slight possibility of dying from typhoid fever complications without treatment. Typhoid vaccines can offer some level of protection. They are not always effective in preventing illnesses brought on by different salmonella strains. Typhoid fever risk can be reduced with the use of vaccinations.


Typhoid fever is brought on by a bacterial strain known as Salmonella enterica serotype typhi. Paratyphoid fever is a condition brought on by other salmonella bacterial strains.

In locations where outbreaks are frequent, people are more likely to contract the pathogen. In the urine and faeces of those who are infected with the bacterium, the bacteria exit the body. Bacteria can spread from hands to items or other people if they are not thoroughly washed after using the lavatory.

A person who has the bacterium can also transmit it to others. It can spread on fresh fruits without skin and other uncooked foods. You can catch the bacterium from sources where the water has not been disinfected to destroy germs. This includes ingesting liquids, utilizing the consumption of unpasteurised milk or juice, or the creation of ice from untreated water.

A few patients who recover from typhoid fever even after receiving antibiotic therapy still carry the bacterium in their systems. The term "chronic carriers" refers to these people. They are no longer experiencing illness symptoms. However, they continue to propagate the bacteria by excreting it in their faeces.

How to check if you have Typhoid Fever?

If you suspect you may have typhoid fever, get medical attention straight away.

Know who to contact for a list of providers if you become ill while travelling in a foreign nation. That could be the closest embassy or consulate for certain people.

Consider visiting a healthcare professional who specializes in infectious illnesses or international travel medicine if you experience symptoms after returning home. Typhoid fever can be detected and treated faster if this is done.

Risk Factors

Typhoid fever affects millions of people every year and poses a serious threat to everyone on Earth. Typhoid fever may be detected earlier and treated accordingly.

Africa and South Asia are the regions with the greatest number of cases or frequent outbreaks. However, instances are reported elsewhere, frequently as a result of visitors to and from these regions.

You run a higher risk of contracting typhoid fever if you reside in a nation where the following are common:

  • Work in or visit places where typhoid fever is prevalent, particularly if you are going to see relatives or friends. 
  • People who are visiting loved ones could experience more social pressure to consume alcohol or foods that carry greater risks.
  • Managing Salmonella enterica serotype typhi germs as a clinical microbiologist.
  • Having frequent interaction with a person who is ill or has lately been ill with the typhoid virus.


The first signs of an infection are most likely to appear 1 to 3 weeks following contact with the bacterium.

Early signs consist of:

  • A low-grade fever that rises during the day, with a maximum temperature of 104 degrees Fahrenheit (40 degrees Celsius).
  • Chills.
  • Headache.
  • Weariness and weakness.
  • Muscle pain.
  • Stomach aches.
  • Constipation and diarrhoea.
  • Rash.

People may also experience sweating, a cough, and a lack of appetite.

The sickness may result in issues with the intestines a few weeks after symptoms first appear. People could have the following symptoms:

  • Stomach ache.
  • Stomach that is very bloated.

Sepsis is a disease brought on by gut bacteria that spreads throughout the body.

In extreme situations, humans may:

  • Become perplexed.
  • Be unable to concentrate on anything around.
  • Not be capable of responding to their surroundings.
  • These issues put human life in grave danger.

Some people's symptoms might come back weeks after the fever has subsided.


Typhoid fever vaccinations are available for individuals. If you reside in an area where typhoid fever is widespread, this is an alternative. It is also a choice if you want to visit a region where the danger is elevated.

Access to purified water helps people avoid coming into touch with the Salmonella enterica serotype typhi bacterium in areas where typhoid illness is endemic. Managing human waste also aids in protecting humans from microorganisms. Additionally, it is crucial for those who make and serve meals to wash their hands thoroughly.

When visiting high-risk locations, adhere to the following recommendations because the vaccination will not offer full protection:

Sanitise your hands. The greatest method for preventing infection is frequent hand washing with hot, soapy water. After using the loo and before making meals, wash your hands. In situations when soap and water are not accessible, 

Keep a hand sanitiser with alcohol in your pocket.

Use filtered water only. In regions where typhoid disease is prevalent, contaminated drinking water is an issue. Drink only bottled water, wine, beer, or fizzy beverages in cans or bottles.

 Compared to noncarbonated bottled water, carbonated bottled water is safer. Request beverages without ice. Brush your teeth with bottled water, and avoid taking a shower while drinking water.

Avoid consuming raw produce. Avoid fruits and vegetables that you can not peel since they could have been washed in polluted water, especially lettuce. You might wish to stay away from raw foods to be safe.

Pick hot food. Food that is kept or served at room temperature should be avoided. It is possible that freshly prepared, piping-hot food is less dangerous than raw food.

Know where the medical professionals are located. Learn about the medical services available where you will be travelling. Carry a list of the names, locations, and contact information for healthcare professionals.

These precautions will help keep people secure while they are recuperating from typhoid fever:

Consume your antibiotics. As prescribed by your doctor, take your antibiotics as directed and make sure you follow the medication to the letter.

Regularly wash your hands. The single most crucial action you can do to prevent the virus from spreading to others is this. Particularly before eating and right after using the bathroom, scrub vigorously for at least 30 seconds using hot, soapy water.

Do not handle food. Until your doctor certifies you are no longer contagious, refrain from cooking for others. You might need to undergo a test if you work with food to demonstrate that you are not exuding typhoid bugs. You might also need to provide proof that you are not shedding germs if you work in the medical field.


Typhoid fever can only be effectively treated with antibiotic therapy.

The medication used to treat typhoid fever may differ depending on where you got the infection. Various antibiotics have various effects on different strains, depending on where they were collected. These medications can be combined or used separately. The following antibiotics may be used for typhoid fever:

Fluoroquinolones. These antibiotics might be your first choice, and one of them is ciprofloxacin (Cipro). They stop bacteria from multiplying on their own. Some bacterial strains can, however, withstand medical treatment. These germs are referred to as "antibiotic-resistant".

Cephalosporins. These medicines prevent bacteria from constructing cell walls. If there is antibiotic resistance, ceftriaxone is one kind that is used.

Macrolides. This class of antibiotics inhibits bacterial protein synthesis.

Additionally, medicines stop bacteria from forming cell walls. But unlike cephalosporins, they concentrate on a distinct phase of that process. These medicines may be utilised in cases of severe illness that is resistant to other antibiotics.

Other therapies comprise:

Consuming liquids. This aids in avoiding the dehydration brought on by a protracted fever and diarrhoea. You might need to get fluids through a vein if you are really dehydrated.

Surgery. You could require surgery to restore your intestines if they have been harmed.

Complications of Typhoid Fever

Damage and bleeding in the intestines are examples of typhoid fever consequences. Additionally, small intestinal or large bowel wall cells may begin to degenerate as a result of typhoid fever. This enables the gut's contents to enter the body through leaks. That may result in severe stomach discomfort, vomiting, and sepsis, an infection that affects the entire body.

In the later stages of the sickness, damage to the intestines might appear. These potentially fatal consequences demand urgent medical attention.

Other potential issues include:

  • The medical word for inflammation of the heart muscle is myocarditis.
  • Endocarditis is an inflammation of the heart's valves and walls.
  • Major blood vessel infection, also known as a mycotic aneurysm.
  • Pneumonia.
  • Pancreatitis is the medical term for pancreatic inflammation.
  • A bladder or kidney infection.
  • Acute and chronic inflammation of the term "meningitis" refers to the fluid and membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord.
  • Psychiatric issues such as paranoid psychosis, hallucinations, and delirium.


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Page last reviewed: May 24, 2023

Next review due: May 24, 2025

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