Typhoid fever, often abbreviated to just ‘typhoid’ and known by other names such as ‘gastric fever’ and ‘pythogenic fever’, is an illness which is spread via the ingestion of food and water contaminated with faeces from another infected individual (this contains the bacterium Salmonella enterica). Thanks to modern sanitization techniques its prevalence has been largely diminished in the developed Western world, however it is still a significant problem in developing countries.
Typhoid fever is characterized by a fever as the name suggests. This is a gradually progressing fever which can reach as high as 40 degrees Celsius. Along with this the sufferer will experience sweating and gastroenteritis. In some cases a rash will also appear.
Typhoid Fever Treatment
If left untreated typhoid fever will last from three weeks to one month and the fatality rate is around 10-30%. However Typhoid fever fortunately is treatable and not fatal in the majority of cases. ‘Oral rehydration therapy’ (the use of an isotonic solution used to rehydrate patients and normalize their blood sugar and salt levels) is a highly useful strategy for preventing dehydration and can be used to prevent many deaths in Typhoid fever and in other diarrhea-causing conditions.
From here antibiotics including ampicillin, chloramphenicol, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, ciprofloxacin and Amoxiccilin can be used in order to treat the condition where available. Prompt administration of these antibiotics reduces the fatality rate associated with the condition to just 1%.
However a complication exists with resistance to antibiotics which renders many of them unusable. The first choice of treatment for typhoid fever is ciprofloxacin – however resistance to this antibiotic is common in many countries and particularly those in Southeast Asia and the Indian subcontinent. Where resistance is an issue other agents such as ceftriaxone or Azithromycin can be used.