ABC Medical Center > Typhoid fever

What is Typhoid fever?

21:54 - 4 May , 2021


It is a serious condition caused by a bacterial infection by Salmonella typhi that affects the intestine and sometimes the bloodstream, spreading through feces, urine, water, and contaminated food, or by direct contact with an infected person.

It is proven that no animal is a carrier of the disease, transmission is always from human to human. Currently, despite the existence of vaccines, typhoid fever continues to be a health risk for developing countries, particularly for infants. This disease must be diagnosed and treated promptly to avoid serious complications such as:

  • Mycotic aneurysm.
  • Endocarditis.
  • Myocarditis.
  • Kidney infections.
  • Meningitis.
  • Pneumonia.
  • Pancreatitis.
  • Intestinal perforation.
  • Mental disorders such as paranoia, hallucinations, delirium, and psychosis.
  • Septicemia.
  • Death.

Signs and symptoms Typhoid fever

The symptoms can be mild or severe, normally beginning within two weeks of infection, including the following symptoms: 

  • Tiredness and weakness.
  • Intense migraine.
  • Abdominal pain and swelling.
  • Loss of appetite and weight loss.
  • Muscle spasms.
  • Constipation or diarrhea.
  • Inflammation of the liver and spleen.
  • Rashes.
  • Excessive sweating.
  • High fever that can reach up to 40.5ºC.
  • Dry cough.

If you experience some of these symptoms, see your doctor to avoid complications that put your health at risk. Consider that relapses are quite frequent.

Diagnosis and treatment Typhoid fever

Once the doctor analyzes your symptoms and medical history, they will perform a physical examination and a blood, feces, urine, or bone marrow culture to help identify the presence of typhoid bacteria. If deemed necessary, they will order a typhoid DNA or antibody test in your blood.

Once the diagnosis is confirmed, the treatment to be followed will be through the administration of specific antibiotics to prevent the development of resistant bacterial strains, which is quite common these days.

They’ll also recommend that you drink plenty of fluids, but if you’re very dehydrated, they’ll need to be given intravenously in the hospital.

In extreme cases, such as when there is intestinal perforation, emergency surgery will be required. Consider that some people may be asymptomatic carriers, harboring the bacteria without discomfort.

Others can continue to harbor the bacteria after symptoms have disappeared, so it’s important to avoid contact with others once you’ve been diagnosed with typhoid fever.


Although there are two vaccines available, neither is 100% effective, so if you are going to travel to high-risk areas, in addition to getting vaccinated, you should take preventive measures such as:

  • Performing hand hygiene on an ongoing basis.
  • Drinking bottled water.
  • Eating only well-cooked food.
  • Avoiding raw salads, as well as unpeeled vegetables and fruits.
  • Not putting ice in drinks.

At ABC Medical Center’s Internal Medicine Department, we offer health care services with the highest quality and safety, from the prevention, diagnosis, timely treatment, and monitoring of infectious, respiratory, endocrinological, dermatological, rheumatic, nephrological, gastrointestinal, and hematological pathologies of both chronic-degenerative diseases and acute conditions, through a comprehensive and multidisciplinary model.


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  • mayoclinic.org
  • medlineplus.gov
  • middlesexhealth.org
  • who.int
  • medigraphic.com
  • Solarana OJA, Rodríguez PY, Suárez LC, et al. Evisceración transestomal de intestino delgado secundaria a perforación de colon por fiebre tifoidea. Correo Científico Médico. 2019;23(3):.
  • Alfaro-Mora R. Aspectos relevantes sobre Salmonella sp en humanos. Rev Cubana Med Gen Integr. 2018;34(3):110-122.
  • Solarana OJA, Rodríguez PY, Rodríguez DM. Vólvulo de Íleon terminal secundario a fiebre tifoidea. A propósito de un caso. Correo Científico Médico. 2019;23(3):.
  • Cordié MF, Álvarez PA, Rosales GJ, et al. Hemorragia pulmonar y síndrome de dificultad respiratoria aguda como complicaciones inusuales de la fiebre tifoidea. Medicentro. 2017;21(3):268-272.

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