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    Typhoid Fever - Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Prevention

    • 4.5   (1 Votes)
    Medically Reviewed by Dr. Deepika Tiwari - MS, MBBS on 29 Jul 2019 - Written by Dr. Garima Sawhney - MS, MBBS - Grammatically Approved by Dr. Kavita Jaggi Agrawal - MS, MBBS

    Typhoid fever is an acute illness that is associated with fever caused due to Salmonella enterica serotype typhi bacteria. It can be caused due to virulent bacteria, which is called Salmonella Typhi. Symptoms of typhoid include headache, diarrhea, weakness and stomach pain.

    Typhoid fever is an acute illness related to a fever, which is caused by the Salmonella enterica serotype Typhi bacteria. Typhoid can also be caused by Salmonella parathyroid, which is a related bacterium that usually causes less severe illness. The bacteria's are accumulated in water or food by a human carrier and are then spread to other people in the area. Typhoid fever spreads through contaminated food and water or through close contact with someone who's infected with this type of fever. The signs and symptoms of typhoid usually include a high fever, headache, abdominal pain, and either constipation or diarrhea. Most people who are suffering from typhoid fever start feeling better within a few days of starting antibiotic treatment, although a very small number of typhoid patients may die of complications. Various vaccines against typhoid fever are also available but they're only partially effective. Vaccines are usually composed for those who may be disclosed to typhoid or are traveling to areas where typhoid fever is very common. (1) (2)

    In this article, you will get to know about:

    Causes of Typhoid

    Typhoid fever is caused due to virulent bacteria, which is called Salmonella Typhi. Although they're associated, Salmonella Typhi and the bacteria responsible for salmonellosis, which is another serious intestinal infection, aren't the same. Drinking or eating the bacteria present in contaminated food or water consumes typhoid fever. People with acute illness can infect the surrounding water supply through stool, which includes a high combination of bacteria. The contamination of the water supply can, in turn, infect the food supply also. The bacteria that cause typhoid fever can survive for weeks in water or dried sewage. Also, about 3%-5% of people who suffer from typhoid become big carriers of the bacteria after the acute illness. Others suffer a very gentle illness that goes disguised. These people may become long-term carriers of the bacteria that cause typhoid even though they have no symptoms. They can be the source of new outbreaks of typhoid fever for many years. (3) (4) (5)

    Fecal-oral transmission route:

    The bacteria that cause typhoid fever spread through infected food or water and sometimes through direct contact with someone who is already infected with typhoid. In most of the developing nations, where typhoid fever is established (endemic), most cases result from infected drinking water or due to poor sanitation. The majority of people in industrialized countries gathers typhoid bacteria's while traveling and spread it to others with the help of the fecal-oral route. This means that Salmonella Typhi is passed in the feces and sometimes in the urine of an infected person. You can get infected if you eat food handled by someone who is suffering from typhoid fever and hasn't washed carefully after using the washroom. You can also become contaminated by drinking water infected with bacteria. (6)

    Symptoms of Typhoid

    Typhoid symptoms normally start between 6 and 30 days after exposure to the bacteria that causes typhoid. Symptoms of typhoid mainly include fever and rash. It is specifically high and gradually increases over several days upto104 degree Fahrenheit or else it can increase to 39 to 40 degree Celsius. The rash, which does not affect every person, subsists of rose-colored spots, specifically on the neck and abdomen (Stomach). Other typhoid symptoms include (7) (8):

    • Weakness - Weakness after recovering from any infectious disease depends upon how long the infection lasted and how many days after sickness treatment was started. Weakness is one of the typhoid symptoms to be noted.
    • Stomach pain - Stomach pain/ abdominal pain is an initial symptom of typhoid. If a person is having severe stomach pain then it can be a symptom of typhoid fever.
    • Diarrhea - A person can be suffering from typhoid if he/she is anguishing from diarrhea for a long time.
    • Headaches - Headache from a long time can be a cause of typhoid fever.

    Rarely, symptoms might include confusion, constipation, and vomiting, but this is not normally relentless.

    How is Typhoid Fever Diagnosed?

    After the ingestion of infected food or water, the Salmonella bacteria infect the small intestine and enter the bloodstream for a short period of time. The bacteria are carried by white blood cells in the liver, bone marrow and spleen, where they multiply and return to the bloodstream. After returning to the bloodstream of a person, symptoms of typhoid start developing such as fever, diarrhea or constipation and headache. Bacteria infect the gallbladder, lymphatic tissue and biliary system of the bowel and multiply them in high numbers. The bacteria then pass into the intestinal tract and can be analyzed in stool samples. If a test result isn't clear then the blood or urine samples will be taken to make a diagnosis of typhoid. (9)

    how is typhoid fever diagnosed

    Prevention of Typhoid Fever

    There are various health goals that can help you prevent from typhoid fever, which includes safe drinking water, adequate medical care, and improved sanitation. Achieving these goals may be difficult i.e. some experts consider that vaccinating high-risk populations can be the best way to control typhoid fever. Vaccination is suggested to a person if he/she lives in or is traveling to areas where the risk of getting typhoid fever is high. (10)

    Prevent Infecting Others from Typhoid

    If you're recovering from typhoid fever then following these measures can help keep others safe:

    causes of typhoid

    • Take your antibiotics - Follow the guidance provided by your doctors for taking antibiotics and be sure to finish the entire prescription.
    • Wash your hands often - This is the single most essential thing one can follow to keep from extending the typhoid infection to others. Use hot, soapy water and scrub efficiently for at least 30 seconds, particularly before eating and after using the toilet.
    • Avoid handling and making food - Avoid making food for others until your doctor says you're no longer infectious. If in case you work in the foodservice industry or any health care facility then you won't be granted to return to work until and unless your tests show that you're no longer shedding typhoid bacteria.

    This article lets you know the basic facts about typhoid fever-like causes of typhoid fever, symptoms of typhoid fever, prevention of typhoid fever, and how typhoid fever is diagnosed. In case, you want to get information related to any infertility problem then you can contact on +918929020600 or else visit to get connected to our fertility specialist. 

    Dr. Garima Sawhney

    Written by

    MS, MBBS
    Dr. Garima Sawhney is an infertility specialist and obstetrician who specializes in High-risk pregnancy care, IUI treatment and Normal vaginal delivery procedures. Dr. Garima completed MBBS from Maharashtra University in 2010 and then went on to pursue MS in Obstetrics and Gynecology from Bharati Vidyapeeth Dental College and Hospital, Pune in the year 2013. Dr. Garima is a member of Pune Obstetric and Gynecology Society and Association of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Delhi. Currently, Dr. Garima Sawhney is practicing at Max Hospital and Asha Multi Specialty Clinic, Sector 40, Gurgaon. For further information, visit



    1 Comment


    Ratnakar Ramsundar

    Feb. 15, 2019, 1:13 a.m. 4.5

    Leave a Comment



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