Typhoid is also called enteric fever and is a bacterial disease spread through contaminated water, food or close contact.
Causes of typhoid
Typhoid is a life threatening disease and it is caused by salmonella paratyphi, a bacterium that causes less severs illness. Typhoid is spread through drinking the bacterium in contaminated food and water. People with acute illness contaminate the surrounding water supply through stools which contains a very high concentration of the bacteria. The bacteria can survive for weeks in dried sewage’s or water. About 3% to 5% of people become carriers of the bacteria after the illness. Others suffer a mild illness that goes unrecognized, this people can become long term carriers of the bacteria even though the have no symptoms and acts as the source of new outbreaks of typhoid for many years.
Salmonella Typhi lives only in people. People who have typhoid fever carry the bacteria in their bloodstream and intestinal parts. Other symptoms of typhoid include:
- Prolonged high fever
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Abdominal pain
Few patients may have a rash. Typhoid fever may be confirmed through blood testing, complications can occur in severe cases that lead to the death of the patient.
Typhoid fever may be treated with antibiotics. Due to the emergence of resistance in antibiotics, newer antibiotics such as azithroycin and caphalosporins are used in the affected regions. It is important to be treated for typhoid through the following ways:
- Washing your hands with soap and water after using the toilet or washroom
- Get tested by your doctor to ensure that no Salmonella Typhi bacteria in your body
- Take your prescribed antibiotics for as long as the doctor has prescribed.
Typhoid is common in places with poor sanitation and a lack of safe drinking water. The following are ways to prevent yourself and community:
- Drinking safe water
- Proper handling of food
- Adequate sanitation
Typhoid vaccines are all effective in preventing typhoid fever. Vaccines are also used to protect people from typhoid and the have been two vaccination for many years, this vaccines are:
- Vaccine based on the purified antigen to People aged 2 years and above.
- An oral vaccine in capsule formulation for aged over 5 years
These vaccines don’t provide long lasting immunity and aren’t approved for children younger than 2 years old. WHO in December 2017 introduced a new conjugate vaccine with longer lasting immunity for use in people from the age of 6 months?