Typhoid fever and paratyphoid fever are serious illnesses caused by
, respectively. It occurs most often in developing countries where sanitation is poor. Typhoid fever can be fatal, especially when not treated.
Typhoid fever is caused by eating foods or drinking beverages contaminated with the
bacteria. Contamination can occur from:
Food or drinks handled by someone who is sick or coming down with typhoid fever
Food or drinks handled by someone who has no symptoms but carries the bacteria
Sewage contamination of water or food
Unpasteurized dairy products
Poultry products left unrefrigerated
Once bacteria enter the body, they infect the intestine. Bacteria can be carried through the bloodstream to other organs.
The doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history, and perform a physical exam. Typhoid fever is usually diagnosed with a blood culture.
Typhoid fever is treated with antibiotics.
Typhoid fever is very contagious until treated. In a small number of cases, people may become typhoid carriers even after the illness has subsided. People who are chronic carriers can shed contagious
bacteria in their stool or urine. This condition can be treated with antibiotics or, in unusual cases, surgery.
There are two main ways to prevent typhoid fever:
is recommended if you are planning to visit a country where typhoid fever is prevalent. However, the vaccine is not always effective and careful food monitoring is just as important.
Careful food monitoring—When you are in an area where typhoid fever is prevalent, always take the following precautions:
Drink only bottled water or water that has been boiled for at least one minute. This includes ice.
Eat foods while they are still hot, and ensure that they are thoroughly cooked.
Avoid any raw fruits and vegetables that cannot be peeled.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care
provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a
substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER
IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the
advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to
starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a