About Typhoid

What is Typhoid?

Typhoid (Typhoid fever) is an acute, life-threatening illness caused by a bacterium, Salmonella typhi. An estimated 22 million cases of typhoid fever and 200,000 related deaths occur worldwide each year. The symptoms of Typhoid fever are poor appetite, headaches, generalized aches and pains, fever, and lethargy.

How is Typhoid transmitted?

Typhoid fever is most often acquired through consumption of water or food that have been contaminated by faeces of an infected person or a carrier of the bacteria (There is an approximate chance of 3% to 5% of patients becoming a carrier after the acute illness).

Why should I take the Typhoid vaccination?

The risk for travellers to South Asia is the greatest as compared to other areas. Other areas of risk include East and Southeast Asia, the Caribbean, Africa, and Central and South America. Vaccination for travellers to these places is highly recommended to reduce the risk of getting Typhoid fever.

Points to Note:

Laboratory diagnostic tests are not perfect and are not 100% accurate

  • We do not have a test for every disease or virus but most of those pathogens that are of public health importance or have long term implications on your health can be tested
  • No one single test can be used with absolute certainty to diagnose a disease. Often, we depend on a combination of tests to make a diagnosis
  • Sometimes, we have to resort to trial treatment or empiric treatment if investigative tests are inconclusive. If the patient makes a therapeutic response and feels better, we have achieved our goal
  • In PUO, we are looking for treatable causes and to rule out sinister causes eg. malignancies so that we do not miss opportunities for early treatment or intervention

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