Typhoid Fever is a life-threatening illness caused by the bacterium Salmonella Typhi. Typhoid Fever is still common in the developing world and affects approximately 21 million people each year globally.
Transmission of Typhoid Fever
The bacterium Salmonella Typhi lives only in humans. Persons with Typhoid fever carry it in their bloodstream and intestinal tract. In addition a small number of people called carriers, recover from the disease but continue to carry the bacteria. Both the ill person and carriers shed the bacterium in their faeces.
Infection with Typhoid Fever occurs via ingestion of food or beverages that have been contaminated. This can happen when Salmonella Typhi gets into water used for drinking or washing food. Typhoid fever is more common in areas of the world where hand-washing is less frequent and water is likely to be contaminated with sewage.
High Risk Areas
Typhoid fever is common in the developing world e.g Asia, Africa and Latin America.
Signs and Symptons
Persons with Typhoid Fever usually have a sustained fever as high as 39 degrees celcius to 40 degrees degree celcius. They may feel weak, have stomach pains, tenderness, headache or loss of appetite. In some cases, patients may have a rash of flat or rose-coloured spots. Constipation and diarrhoea commonly occur in children.
About Preventing Typhoid Fever
There are two basic actions that can be taken to prevent Typhoid Fever.
Avoiding Risky Foods – “Boil it, Cook it, Peel it or Forget it”
If you drink water, buy it bottled or bring it to a rolling boil for 1 minute before you drink it. Ask for drinks without ice unless the ice is made from bottled or boiled water, avoid ice that may have been made with contaminated water. Eat foods that have been thoroughly cooked and that are still hot and steaming. Avoid raw vegetables and fruits that cannot be peeled. Vegetables like lettuce are easily contaminated and are very hard to wash well. When you eat raw fruit or vegetables that can be peeled, peel them yourself. Avoid foods and beverages from street vendors.
Getting Vaccinated against Typhoid Fever
If you are traveling to a country where Typhoid fever is common, you should consider being vaccinated against Typhoid. Visit a travel clinic for more information.Leave a reply →