Typhoid fever is an acute illness associated with fever that is most often caused by the Salmonella typhi bacteria. It can also be caused by Salmonella paratyphi, a related bacterium that usually leads to a less severe illness. The bacteria are deposited in water or food by a human carrier and are then spread to other people in the area.
Symptoms of Typhoid
pain. A high (over 103 degrees) fever and severe diarrhea occur as the disease gets worse.
Some people with typhoid fever develop a rash called "rose spots," which are small red spots on the belly and chest.
Other symptoms that occur include:
- Abdominal tenderness
- Bloody stools
- Difficulty paying attention
- Fluctuating mood
- Severe fatigue
- Slow, sluggish, lethargic feeling
Exams and Tests of Typhoid
A complete blood count (CBC) will show a high number of white blood cells.
A blood culture during first week of the fever can show S. typhi bacteria
Other tests that can help diagnose this condition include:
- Stool culture
- ELISA urine test to look for the bacteria that causes Typhoid fever
- Platelet count (platelet count will be low)
- Fluorescent antibody study to look for substances specific to Typhoid bacteria
Treatment of Typhoid
Typhoid fever can be treated with antibiotics. However, resistance to common antimicrobials is widespread. Healthy carriers should be excluded from handling food.