What is Typhoid fever?
Typhoid fever, also known simply as typhoid, is a symptomatic bacterial infection due to ''Salmonella'' Typhi. Symptoms may vary from mild to severe and usually begin six to thirty days after exposure. Often there is a gradual onset of a high fever over several days. Diarrhea and vomiting are uncommon. Some people develop a skin rash with rose colored spots. Without treatment symptoms may last weeks or months. Other people may carry the bacteria without being affected; however, they are still able to spread the disease to others. Typhoid fever is a type of enteric fever along with paratyphoid fever.
The cause is the bacteria Salmonella Typhi, also known as Salmonella enterica serotype Typhi, growing in the intestines and blood. Those who travel to the developing world are also at risk. Humans are the only animal infected. Diagnosis is by either culturing the bacteria or detecting the bacteria's DNA in the blood, stool, or bone marrow. Typhus is a different disease.
A typhoid vaccine can prevent about 50% to 70% of cases. It is recommended for those at high risk or people travelling to areas where the disease is common. Other efforts to prevent the disease include providing clean drinking water, better sanitation, and better handwashing. Until it has been confirmed that an individual's infection is cleared, the individual should not prepare food for others. Treatment of disease is with antibiotics such as azithromycin, fluoroquinolones or third generation cephalosporins. Resistance to these antibiotics has been developing which has made treatment more difficult.
In 2010 there were 27 million cases reported. The disease is most common in India, and children are most commonly affected. Rates of disease decreased in the developed world in the 1940s as a result of improved sanitation and antibiotics. About 400 cases are reported and the disease is estimated to occur in about 6,000 people per year in the United States. The name typhoid means "resembling typhus" due to the similarity in symptoms.