What is Typhoid?
Typhoid – Salmonella Typhi is a complex diarrhoeal disease if left untreated or misdiagnosed can result in further illness and even death as the infection spreads through the body attacking the organs. Salmonella typhi at first has similar symptoms to common salmonella food poisoning; however Typhoid is extremely contagious. Infection is known to spread through the consumption of foods or drinks that have been contaminated with even the smallest amounts of infected faeces.
Animals do not carry the virus and so is transmitted via infected human faeces to non-infected mouths and that happens in a variety of ways from shaking hands, general contact with everyday items, local foods and so on.
Around one to three weeks after the infection, the bacteria moves from the intestines to the bloodstream and from the bloodstream into the muscle tissue and organs leaving the immune system almost surplus as the bacteria grows intra-cellularly (The ability to live within other cells in the body).
How do I know if I have been infected with Typhoid?
Symptoms tend to manifest around six days after infection and can take up to thirty days to make a full onset. Typhoid is diagnosed by sampling blood, urine, and stool although the two main physical symptoms such as the fever and rash are easily observable. The fever Is thought to rise in excess of 40°C whereas the rash is not consistent in every patient, it is seen as rose coloured spots usually around the neck and abdomen region. Other symptoms include; the loss of appetite, weakness, headaches, diarrhoea & sickness (adults), constipation (kids) and in more severe cases confusion chronic fatigue.
Although through militarised hygiene Typhoid disease can be prevented and avoidable a vaccine is available. There are a couple of options on offer here in the UK orally that requires three capsules in subsequent days or a one-time injection covering the host for three years.
If untreated, around 1 in 4 cases of typhoid end in death. If treatment is given less than 4 in 100 cases are terminal.
Typhoid Across The World
Typhoid is extremely common all across the world and far more dangerous to those infected in developing countries where access to medical treatment is limited and so travellers are strongly advised to get vaccinated. In areas of the western world fatalities and server cases of Typhoid fever are uncommon.
Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Falkland Islands, French Guiana, Guyana, Paraguay Peru, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela
Algeria, Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cabo Verde, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Cote d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Khemet (Modern day Egypt), Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe
Bahrain, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.
Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei, Burma, Cambodia, China, Georgia, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, South Korea, North Korea, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Lebanon, Macau, Malaysia Maldives, Mongolia, Nepal, Oman, Pakistan, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Thailand, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Vietnam and Yemen
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Typhoid can and is preventable by simply following the simple rules of food preparation and basic hygiene that we’d take for granted in more developed areas of the world.
It would be recommended to:
- Ritualistically wash your hands, particularly after being outdoors and at meal times.
- Ensure all your food is thoroughly cooked and consume whilst hot. Food left at room temperature that’s served without being reheated is a hub for infection.
- Boil water, filter or treat water before consumption, beverages like tea, coffee, bottled and carton juices are usually safe.
- Avoid local Ice.
- Avoid raw any kind of raw food especially things like Sushi. Same applies with fruits and vegetables unless you know they’re from a safe source.
To treat typhoid fever antibiotics are administered and its important to re-hydrate, through diarrhoea and sickness the body can lose fluids and minerals that need to be replaced like water and salt. It is the re-hydration of a patient that saves the lives of those infected as it helps to flush out the virus. Please ensure the supply of water is safe.