The Herald (Zimbabwe)

Facts about typhoid fever:


What is typhoid?

Typhoid fever is an acute illness associated with fever caused by the Salmonella typhi bacteria. It can also be caused by Salmonella paratyphi, a related bacterium that usually causes a less severe illness.

The bacteria are deposited in water or food by a human carrier and are then spread to other people in the area.

How People Contract typhoid

Typhoid fever is contracted by drinking or eating the bacteria in contaminat­ed food or water.

People with acute illness can contaminat­e the surroundin­g water supply through stool, which contains a high concentrat­ion of the bacteria.

Contaminat­ion of the water supply can in turn, taint the food supply.

The bacteria can survive for weeks in water or dried sewage.

Reports say about 3 percent to 5 percent of people become carriers of the bacteria after the acute illness.

Others suffer a very mild illness that goes undetected.

These people may become long-term carriers of the bacteria — even though they have no symptoms — and be the source of new outbreaks of typhoid fever for many years.

Symptoms of typhoid

The incubation period is usually one to two weeks, and the duration of the illness is about 3-4 weeks. Symptoms include:

◆ Poor appetite

◆ Headaches

◆ Generalise­d aches and pains

◆ High temperatur­es

◆ Lethargy

◆ Diarrhoea Source —

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