Loice Vavi Health Matters

Typhoid fever is a bacterial infection caused by a bacterium called Salmonella typhi. The bacteria multiply and spread into the blood stream causing typhoid fever.


◆ It is caused by drinking contaminated water.

◆ Eating food washed in contaminated water.

◆ Using a toilet  contaminated with bacteria.

◆ Touching mouth with contaminated hands before washing hands.

◆ Eating sea food from a water source contaminated or infected by human waste (faeces. )

◆ Having oral or anal sex with a person who is a carrier of salmonella typhi.

Mode of transmission

It is spread through sewage contamination of food ,water ,and through direct contact with someone who is infected.

Risk factors

◆ Poor hygienic habits.

◆ Travel to endemic areas.

◆ Poor sanitation conditions.

◆ Proximity to flies feeding on faeces.

◆ Contact with someone who recently suffered from typhoid fever.

◆ Immuno-suppressive illness e.g HIV.

Vulnerable groups

◆ Food handlers.

◆ Crèches.

◆ Boarding schools residence homes.

◆ Homes for elderly , orphanages and prisons


The diagnosis is made by blood culture and stool for  micro culture and sensitivity.

Signs and symptoms

◆ Temperature of 39 to 40 degrees

◆ Stomach pains

◆ Diarrhoea or constipation

◆ Loss of appetite

◆ Altered mental illness

◆ Nausea and vomiting

◆ Chills

◆ Muscle aches

◆ Cough

◆ General body weakness

◆ Headache


Antibiotic therapy is the only effective treatment for typhoid fever.

Commonly prescribed antibiotics include;

◆ Ciprofloxacin

◆ Azithromycin

◆ Ceftriaxone

Other treatment

◆ Drinking a lot of fluids to prevent dehydration from prolonged fever.

◆ Intravenous fluids.

◆ Surgery in case of perforated intestines.


◆ Internal bleeding in the gastro-intestinal tract system.

◆ Perforation of the digestive bowel.

◆ Hepatitis , cholecystitis , myocarditis , shock ,enchaphalopathy , pneumonia and anemia.

NB : Perforation and bleeding are fatal complications even if managed surgically.


◆ Vaccination

◆ Choose food and drinks carefully

◆ Report all diarrhoeal diseases and death of diarrhoeal diseases  to health workers.

◆ Wash hand under running water with soap.

Health education

◆ Thoroughly cook  food and eat whilst hot and steaming.

◆ Avoid foods and beverages from street vendors.

◆ Treat drinking water with household treatment products or boil before drinking.

◆ Avoid raw vegetables and fruits

◆ Wash hand and fruits before you eat and if fruits need to be peeled , peel for yourself.

◆ Cover cooked food to protect it from flies.

◆ Avoid  drinking untreated water.

◆ Carry an alcohol based sanitiser when water is not available.

◆ Wash hands after using toilet , before preparing food and before eating.

◆ Get vaccinated when visiting and if living in area with typhoid fever.

◆ Practice safe eating and drinking habits, carefully select what you eat and drink when travelling.

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