Typhoid fever is a deadly bacterial disease caused by Salmonella typhi bacteria. While the highest risk of getting typhoid fever is traveling to South Asia. Worldwide, it affects more than 22 million people annually with approximately 200,000 associated deaths from the disease.
What are the symptoms of typhoid fever?
Typhoid fever occurs due to contaminated food or water or any close contact with an infected person.
Follow signs and symptoms usually include:
- Sustained fever.
- Relative bradycardia (slow heart rate).
- Constipation or diarrhea.
- Nonproductive cough.
- Loss of appetite.
- Abdominal pain.
- Diarrhea or constipation.
How does typhoid spread?
If they drink water or eat food contaminated with S, anyone can get typhoid fever. You will have typhoid fever only if you take food or beverages with someone who is controlled by a person who is shedding S. Typhi in their stool, or if sewage contaminated with S. Typhi bacteria are found in the water you use to wash food or drink.
Symptoms may usually show up to one to three weeks to three months after consumption of contaminated food or water.
How can typhoid fever be prevented?
If you are traveling to an area where typhoid is common you may want to be vaccinated against this type of fever.
The following precautions are recommended:
- Water should be brought to a rolling boil for one minute before drinking.
- Bottled water should be used only because bottled carbonated water is safer than non-carbonated water.
- Other safe beverages include boiled water and tea and coffee made from bottled drinks with no ice.
- Unless ice is made with bottled or boiled water, ask for a drink without ice.
- Avoid popsicle or flavored ices that may have been made with contaminated water.
- Eat foods that are well cooked and still hot and steamy.
- Avoid fruits and raw vegetables that cannot be peeled.
- When you eat raw fruits or vegetables that can be peeled and eaten, then please peel them by yourself.
- Wash your hands with soap first.
- Do not eat the peelings.
- Avoid foods and beverages from street vendors.
- It is difficult to keep food clean on the road, and many travelers become ill with food purchased from street vendors.
- A simple rule of thumb is: “Boil it, cook it, peel it, or forget it!”
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