Typhoid fever is a debilitating and potentially fatal infection caused by the Salmonella Typhi bacteria. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that typhoid fever affects up to 20 million people worldwide yearly, resulting in over 161,000 deaths annually. It is most commonly found in tropical areas of developing countries with poor sanitation but also in industrialized nations.
Symptoms include fever, abdominal pain, etc. However, you can take steps to prevent and minimize the risk of contracting typhoid fever. This article will discuss typhoid symptoms, risk factors, and prevention tips.
Various typhoid symptoms can manifest through the course of infection. Generally, typhoid fever begins with a gradual onset of fever and other flu-like signs such as headache, muscle aches, loss of appetite, malaise (general discomfort or unease), nausea, and vomiting.
Other common typhoid symptoms include:
● High Fever
One of the most common typhoid symptoms is a high fever, usually between 104 and 105 degrees Fahrenheit. This often persists for several weeks, accompanied by chills, sweats, weakness and fatigue.
● Abdominal Pain
Another symptom of typhoid is abdominal pain which may be localized to one spot or generalized throughout the abdomen. It may be accompanied by constipation or diarrhea.
A typhoid fever infection can cause a throbbing headache that usually worsens in the morning and gets better during the day.
● Loss of Appetite
Typhoid sufferers often have a poor appetite, leading to weight loss, weakness and fatigue.
● Rose Spots
Rose spots are a typhoid symptom unique to the condition. These pink or red flat spots on the lower chest and abdomen can occur in the second week of disease progression.
It is another typhoid symptom that can occur as the disease progresses. The severity of diarrhea can range from mild to severe and may be accompanied by abdominal cramps and nausea.
● Late stage symptoms
In the final stages of typhoid fever, a person may experience confusion, delirium and even coma.
Nausea, vomiting and Koplik spots (white patches inside the cheeks) can also be typhoid symptoms.
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How to Prevent and Minimize the Risk of Contracting Typhoid Fever
● Get vaccinated
The typhoid vaccine is the best way to prevent typhoid fever. It is a safe, secure and effective way to protect yourself against contracting typhoid fever.
● Wash your hands regularly
Washing hands with soap and water before/after eating, preparing food, touching animals or after using the bathroom can help reduce your risk of contracting typhoid fever.
● Drink safe water
Typhoid is often spread through contaminated water. When travelling to areas where typhoid is common, drink only bottled water, boiled water and avoid using ice cubes made with tap water.
● Eat safe food
Typhoid is often spread through contaminated food. When travelling to areas where typhoid is common, only eat foods properly cooked and served hot. Avoid raw or undercooked food, fruits, and vegetables not peeled or washed in safe water.
● Practice good hygiene
Typhoid bacteria can be spread through contact with an infected person’s faeces or saliva. It is essential to practice good hygiene to avoid typhoid fever.
● Stay informed and prepared
If you travel to areas where typhoid is common, stay informed about the risks and take necessary precautions to reduce your risk of contracting typhoid fever.
Typhoid fever is a potentially serious infection that can be fatal if left untreated. There are various typhoid symptoms, including high fever, abdominal pain, headache, loss of appetite and rose spots. To prevent and minimize the risk of contracting typhoid fever, getting vaccinated, washing your hands regularly, drinking safe water, eating safe food, practising good hygiene and staying informed about the risks are important. Taking these simple steps can help protect you from typhoid fever and its potentially serious consequences.