Typhoid fever is an infectious disease caused by a bacterium, Salmonella typhi. Its name derives from the nomenclature of the bacterium.
Typhoid fever manifestations
As its name implies, one of the main symptoms that accompany it is fever. People with this disease develop a high fever, which can reach 40°C. This is the first symptom and can start up to 3 weeks after acquiring the infection.
Fever is accompanied by other symptoms such as headache and colic-like abdominal pain. There are also changes in bowel movements such as the appearance of soft or watery stools, decay, malaise, muscle pain, dry cough and rash. Typhoid fever
All these manifestations can be confused with a viral-type infection. One of the symptoms that may make us suspect the presence of typhoid fever is distension of the abdomen, which usually becomes inflamed and enlarged.
Another disease that is very similar in its manifestations is typhus, which also has a similar name. The latter also produces high fever, muscle and joint pain, in addition to abdominal pain, rash, and low blood pressure. Typhus is an extremely different disease, it is produced by another bacteria, Rickettsia typhi, acquired by the bite of a tick.
Its main cause is the ingestion of contaminated food
Salmonella is commonly found in the feces of animals such as birds. It can be acquired through the ingestion of foods contaminated with these excrements, which occurs frequently, as they are used as fertilizers, contaminating foods of plant origin. Typhoid fever
Another way to acquire the disease is the fact of inappropriately handling food during its preparation. An example of this is performing procedures such as chopping the chicken and then cutting the vegetables that will be eaten raw with the same knife without washing it, or else on the same surface allowing the vegetables to impregnate with the raw meat juices.
It is also possible for a sick person to contaminate their hands when performing their hygiene after evacuating and contaminating food by handling them without washing their hands beforehand. Typhoid fever
How can it be diagnosed?
Once the disease is suspected, it is necessary to carry out laboratory studies, especially blood and stool tests with stool culture. This procedure makes it possible to identify salmonella and prove the diagnosis.
The disease needs antibiotic treatment in all cases. Failure to do so can lead to serious injuries, such as perforation of the intestines, which can lead to hemorrhage and lead to the individual’s death .
A preventable disease
Salmonella infection can be prevented with the application of vaccines, but they are not 100% effective and the protection provided is lost over time, which requires a revaccination.
The best way to prevent this disease is through the adoption of hygiene measures and the correct handling of food. Typhoid fever
It is essential to wash any food well before being consumed, in addition to not ingesting raw foods or natural fruit juices sold on the street, as well as boiling the water that will be used for consumption.
These measures must be extreme, especially in geographic regions where there are cases of this disease on a regular basis, which is common in rural areas, on farms, in places where birds are raised or when traveling to underdeveloped countries in tropical areas. Typhoid fever