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Typhoid

Category: Illness or disabilities

Type

Involuntary

Introduction and description

Typhoid is a common worldwide illness, the name of "typhoid" comes from the neuropsychiatric symptoms common to typhoid and typhus (from Greek "stupor").

It is transmitted by the ingestion of food or water contaminated with the feces of an infected person, which contain the bacterium Salmonella enterica, serovar Typhi.  Typhoid does not affect animals and therefore transmission is only from human to human. Typhoid can only spread in environments where human feces or urine are able to come into contact with food or drinking water. The bacterium grows best at 37°C / 98.6°F – human body temperature.   A person may also become an asymptomatic carrier of typhoid fever, suffering no symptoms, but capable of infecting others. According to the CDC approximately 5% of people who contract typhoid continue to carry the disease after they recover.


Some of the ways in which the bacteria can contaminate drinking water – source Wikipedia

There are an estimated 16–33 million cases of typhoid annually worldwide,  the World Health Organization identifies typhoid as a serious public health problem.

The introduction of vaccines and improvements in public sanitation and hygiene has resulted in declining rates of typhoid fever in developed countries.   Antibiotics were introduced in clinical practice in 1942, greatly reducing mortality. Today, the incidence of typhoid fever in developed countries is around 5 cases per 1,000,000 people per year.  But typhoid in the rest of the world is still a major problem.  An outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2004–05, for example, resulted more than 42,000 cases and 214 deaths.

Symptoms

Typhoid fever is characterized by a slowly progressive fever as high as 40 °C (104 °F), profuse sweating and gastroenteritis. Less commonly, a rash of flat, rose-colored spots may appear.  Classically, the course of untreated typhoid fever is divided into four individual stages, each lasting approximately one week. 

  • In the first week, there is a slowly rising temperature with relative bradycardia, malaise, headache, and cough. A bloody nose (epistaxis) is seen in a quarter of cases and abdominal pain is also possible. There is a decrease in the number of circulating white blood cells. 
  • In the second week of the infection, the patient lies prostrate with high fever in plateau around 40 °C (104 °F) and bradycardia. The major symptom of the fever is that it  usually rises in the afternoon up to the first and second week.  Delirium is frequent.  Rose spots appear on the lower chest and abdomen in around a third of patients. The abdomen is distended and painful in the right lower quadrant. Diarrhea can occur in this stage. The spleen and liver are enlarged and tender. 
  • In the third week of typhoid fever, the fever is still very high and oscillates very little over 24 hours. Dehydration ensues and the patient is delirious. By the end of the third week the fever may start to reduce. This carries on into the fourth and final week.  A  number of complications can occur:
    •  Intestinal hemorrhage due to bleeding.
    • Intestinal perforation in the distal ileum: this is a very serious complication and is frequently fatal.
    • Encephalitis
    •  Neuropsychiatric symptoms.

How it works

Physically via Fever and hyperthermia as well as Dehydration.

But see also Bacterial infection

Related observations