Typhoid Fever

=====================| By Dillon Geng |=====================

What Is Typhoid Fever?

Typhoid fever is an infectious disease contracted from the Salmonella typhi bacteria. It is rare in developed countries, but it can be a major threat to poorer regions, especially for children. It spreads mainly though consuming infected food and water, although it can spread through contact with an infected animal. The main symptoms of typhoid fever are a high fever, headaches, abdominal pain, and constipation or diarrhea. It can be cured by antibiotics, and vaccines exists, although they isn't completely effective. Typhoid does kill a few people with complications.

Causes Of Typhoid Fever

Typhoid Fever is caused by the hostile Salmonella typhi bacteria. This bacteria is related to the salmonellosis inducing bacteria. It spreads through unsanitary conditions, food, water, and contact with an infected animal. (Humans are animals.) If an infected being touches or handles food, the food has a chance of infecting anybody who eats it. Most cases of typhoid fever in developed countries are caused by travel. After recovering from the disease, a few people still harbor the S. typhi bacteria, enabling them to infect others without being sick themselves.

Typhoid Fever Symptoms

Typhoid fever usually induces symptoms over a period of one to three weeks after an exposure, although children will occasionally become sick quickly. At different points in time, different symptoms will occur. During the first week of sickness, an infected individual might experience a fever that goes as high as 104°F, headaches, fatigue, weakness, a dry cough, a loss of appetite, abdominal pain, a rash, and either constipation or diarrhea. The following week, symptoms could include a continued fever, severe constipation or diarrhea, a considerable weight loss, and an extremely swollen abdomen. the final week of sickness can bring delirium, hallucinations, and the typhoid state, in which you lie tired and unable to move with your eyes half closed. The fourth week will decrease your fever for 7 to 10 days until you have a normal temperature. However, symptoms can return up to two weeks after the fever has subsided.

Typhoid Fever On The Body

Typhoid Fever attacks mainly the intestines, but it attacks other organs in the digestive system and respiratory systems, too. This is what causes the swelling of the abdomen, coughing, constipation or diarrhea, and loss of appetite.

Typhoid Fever Risk Factors

Typhoid fever affects around 22 million people annually, spread over the regions of India, Southeast Asia, Africa, South America, etc. Living in or visiting these places is a major risk factor of contracting typhoid fever. Other risk factors include working as a clinical microbiologist studying S. typhi, being near or directly contacting an infected animal, and having a weakened immune system.
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Diagnosis Of Typhoid Fever

If symptoms of typhoid fever are present, doctors will probably perform tests to confirm that a patient has typhoid fever. They will take samples of the patient's blood, feces, urine, and/or bone marrow and keep them in environments that promote bacteria growth. After 2 to 3 days, they will check for S. typhi in the samples using a microscope. If S. typhi is present, the patient is diagnosed with typhoid fever. Bone marrows tend to be the most effective sample.

Treatment Of Typhoid Fever

The only cure for typhoid fever that has been discovered is antibiotics. Doctors usually prescribe ciprofloxacin (cipro) or ceftriaxone (rocephin) for typhoid fever patients, typically cipro. Rocephin is only for pregnant women and children who can't take cipro. Other drugs were used in the past, such as trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole and ampicillin, but the evolution of diseases has rendered them useless. Chloramphenicol was also used, but doctors stopped because of it's side effects, especially health deterioration. Non-medicine treatments include drinking fluids to prevent dehydration and eating a healthy diet to supply lost nutrients.
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Prevention Of Typhoid Fever

Experts, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, agree that vaccination is the best way to prevent typhoid fever from spreading and recommend it for all people traveling to an area where typhoid fever is active. Two vaccines have been developed. One is injected by syringe two weeks before an exposure, and the other is consumed every other day, in capsules, four times. However, neither vaccine is completely effective, so both must be taken again after a period of time. There are other ways of preventing typhoid fever, too, such as washing your hands with hot, soapy water, avoiding raw fruits and vegetables, and eating hot foodstuffs. If a person is already infected, they can prevent contaminating others by washing their hands, cleaning their household items, avoiding contact with food that others will eat, and keeping their belongings separate.

Typhoid Fever Complications

Certain complexities of typhoid fever can cause disability and death. 5% of typhoid fever patients develop punctures in the intestines during the third week of illness, discovered by a drop in blood pressure and blood in the feces. Another complication that can happen is swelling and pain in the heart, cardiac muscles, pancreas, and/or gallbladder. Contraction of kidney infections, bladder infections, and pneumonia can also occur. The fluid around the brain may become infected.

Typhoid Fever History (Pump It Up!)

A disease wiped out a third of Athens' population during 430-424 BC, including their leader, Pericles. Signs indicate that this disease was typhoid fever, such as the fact that the people living around Athens lived in tents. (Typhoid spreads through poor hygiene.) Another famous typhoid fever occurrence was to the fault of a chef named Mary Mallon, also known as Typhoid Mary. Mary infected 53 people and killed three of them by cooking for various rich families, infecting the food she touched. She was forced to either have her gallbladder removed or quit her job as a cook, but neither option appealed to her. (She didn't believe that she had typhoid fever, despite what the doctors said.) She simply changed her name and went back to cooking. The authorities caught her, and she died of pneumonia after 26 years of being quarantined. During the late 19th century, typhoid fever killed 65 out of every 100,000 people in rich countries. A vaccine for typhoid fever was created by Almroth Edward Wright, an immunologist, during 1897. A dozen years later, during 1909, Frederick F. Russell, a physician, developed another vaccine that helped immunize the whole U.S. military. These two vaccines helped decrease typhoid fever cases in many rich countries during the first half of the 20th century. The poorer countries could not afford the vaccines, as can be seen by an outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo that infected 42,000 people and killed 214. After a few decades, antibiotics for typhoid fever were developed in 1942, reducing typhoid fever death rates by much. Today, only 5 out of every 1,000,000 people in rich countries contract typhoid fever.

Typhoid Fever Statistics

Only about 5,700 cases of typhoid fever are reported in the U.S. annually, while 21 million cases are reported worldwide annually. Of these 21 million people, 200,00 die from their sickness. Typhoid fever lasts 3 to 4 weeks if and kills 12-30% of its victims if left untreated. The people who survive typhoid fever have a 5% chance of carrying the bacteria around.

Works Cited

Cipro 500 MG. Digital image. Drugs.com. Drugs.com. Web. 18 Dec. 2014.

Mayo Clinic. "Typhoid Fever." Mayo Clinic. Mayo Clinic, 22 Aug. 2012. Web. 02 Dec. 2014.

"Typhoid Fever." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 14 May 2013. Web. 10 Dec. 2014.

Typhoid Fever Global Distribution. Digital image. Infection Landscapes. Infection Landscapes, 28 Nov. 2011. Web. 17 Dec. 2014.

"Typhoid Fever History." News Medical. News Medical, 1 Feb. 2011. Web. 09 Dec. 2014.