Typhoid: Meaning, Diagnosis and Overview

What is Typhoid?

Typhoid fever is an acute illness caused by the bacterium salmonella typhi. It is also known as enteric fever. It is transmitted through contaminated food or water.
when to consult a doctor

Recovery Time

With appropriate antibiotic therapy, usually improvement occurs within one to two days and recovery within 7 to 10 days but the symptoms may reappear if it is not properly cured. Many persons, who have typhoid fever, recover and are symptomless, still carry the bacteria and are at risk for infecting others with the disease.


  • Diagnosis is done by the following tests
  • Blood or stool culture test for the presence of bacteria
  • Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA)
  • Fluorescent antibody test
  • Widal test

FAQs prepared by doctor

Q1.  What is Typhoid?
Typhoid or Enteric fever is the infection of the gastro-intestinal system by bacteria called Salmonella typhi. It invades the small intestine and multiplies in the wall of small intestine. It is usually associated with high grade fever, slow pulse. Vomiting, diarrhoea, crampy abdominal pain, cough and skin rash may also be present.  The liver and spleen also enlarged in later stages.

Q2.  How do I get Typhoid?
You get Typhoid by ingestion of food and water contaminated with Salmonella typhi bacteria. It spreads through feco-oral route.

Q3.  What is the treatment for Typhoid?
Rehydration, antibiotics and other symptomatic treatment for nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea and abdominal pain is the mainstay for the treatment of Typhoid.  Blood, stool and urine samples are taken before starting on antibiotics to isolate the organism and confirm its sensitivity.

Q4.  How long does it take to cure?
It usually takes about 10-14days of treatment to cure. In some people there maybe relapse and a small percentage of the people become chronic carriers.
It is advisable to do a stool culture test 3-4 days after antibiotic treatment to confirm that the bacteria are fully eradicated.

Q5.  How do I prevent Typhoid?
Typhoid is a vaccine preventable disease. You should get booster shots every 3 yrs.You should maintain proper personal hygiene, as it spreads from person to person through feco-oral route. Avoid eating food and drinking water which are not hygienic.Get Vaccinated if you are travelling to countries where sanitation if poor.

Q6.  What are the complications of Typhoid?
If not diagnosed early and treated properly, Typhoid can lead to perforation of the small intestine which would require surgical intervention.

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