Typhoid fever is a serious bacterial infection caused by the bacterium Salmonella Typhi. It is transmitted through contaminated food and water and can cause severe illness if left untreated.
Further in this blog, we will explore the common symptoms of typhoid fever and how doctors diagnose the disease.
Symptoms of Typhoid Fever
The symptoms of typhoid fever can be similar to those of other illnesses, such as the flu or malaria. They typically appear one to three weeks after exposure to the bacteria and can include:
- High fever: The fever can start low and gradually rise, peaking between 103-104 degrees Fahrenheit (39-40 degrees Celsius) in the second week of the illness.
- Abdominal pain and discomfort: This is usually located in the right lower quadrant of the abdomen and is often accompanied by distension or bloating.
- Headache: This can be severe and persistent.
- Weakness and fatigue: Patients may feel extremely weak and fatigued even after minimal exertion.
- Diarrhea or constipation: These symptoms may be present in some patients.
- Rash: A rash of flat, rose-colored spots may appear on the torso and spread to the rest of the body.
- Enlarged spleen and liver: The spleen and liver may become enlarged and tender.
Diagnosis of Typhoid Fever Diagnosing typhoid fever can be challenging, as the symptoms can be similar to other illnesses. The most common diagnostic test is a blood culture, which involves taking a sample of the patient’s blood and sending it to a laboratory for analysis. In some cases, a stool culture may also be necessary.
Blood tests can also be used to measure the level of antibodies against the bacteria in the patient’s blood. This can help confirm a diagnosis of typhoid fever.
In addition to laboratory tests, doctors may also perform a physical exam to check for signs of the disease, such as an enlarged spleen or liver. They may also ask about the patient’s travel history and any recent exposure to contaminated food or water.
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Typhoid fever is a serious bacterial infection that can cause severe illness if left untreated. It is important to be aware of the common symptoms of the disease and seek medical attention if they are present. If you are traveling to an area where typhoid fever is common, talk to your doctor about getting vaccinated and taking other preventative measures to protect yourself from the disease.