Typhoid fever and paratyphoid fever are serious illnesses. They occur most often in developing countries where sanitation is poor.
Typhoid fever is caused by eating foods or drinking beverages contaminated with the Salmonella bacteria. Contamination can occur from:
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Factors that increase your risk of typhoid fever include:
Symptoms may include:
The doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. Typhoid fever is usually diagnosed with a blood culture.
Typhoid fever is treated with antibiotics.
Typhoid fever spreads easily until it is treated. In a small number of cases, people may become typhoid carriers even after the illness has passed. People who are chronic carriers can shed the contagious bacteria in their stool or urine. This condition can be treated with antibiotics or, in unusual cases, surgery to remove the gall bladder.
Your doctor may also recommend medication to help reduce the fever. In general, rest and drink plenty of fluids.
There are two main ways to prevent typhoid fever:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
World Health Organization
Public Health Agency of Canada
Bhan MK, Bahl R, Bhatnagar S. Typhoid and paratyphoid fever. Lancet. 2005 Aug 27-Sep 2;366(9487):749-62.
Bui YG, Trépanier S, et al. Cases of Malaria, Hepatitis A, and Typhoid Fever Among VFRs, Quebec (Canada). J Travel Med. 2011;18(6):373-378.
Johnson KJ, Gallagher NM, et al. From the CDC: New Country-Specific Recommendations for Pre-Travel Typhoid Vaccination. J Travel Med. 2011;18(6):430-433.
Typhoid fever. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov.... Updated May 14, 2013. Accessed August 7, 2013.
Typhoid fever. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us. Updated September 14, 2012. Accessed August 7, 2013.
Typhoid vaccine. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/vis/vis-statements/typhoid.html. Updated May 29, 2012. Accessed August 7, 2013.
Last reviewed August 2013 by Michael Woods, MD
Last Updated: 5/11/2013