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Typhoid is caused by a bacterium called Salmonella enterica serotype Typhi (or Salmonella Typhi), which can be transmitted from one person to the other through contaminated food and water.

These bacteria have the potential to multiply very fast in the blood stream of the patient, and are absorbed by the human digestive tract within no time. It is serious problem in the developing countries, owing to lack of proper hygiene and sanitary conditions. It is commonly treated with the help of antibiotics, and is rarely fatal. The availability of typhoid vaccines has reduced the incidence of the disease greatly.

Causes
As stated earlier, the bacterium S. enterica serotype Typhi is the causative agent, and it spreads through the fecal-oral route. Poor sanitation and contaminated water are the main causes of transmission, and people in the developing countries are more prone to such diseases, since they lack proper sanitation and pure drinking water. These bacteria can also spread through carriers, who even after treatment, continue to have the bacteria in their intestinal tract. These people are often referred to as chronic carriers, and they release bacterial cells in their feces, thus exposing the people around them to the bacteria.

Signs and Symptoms
The symptoms are manifested within one to three weeks from the entry of bacterial cells in the body of an individual. The most common signs and symptoms include:
  • Headache
  • High fever
  • Pain in the abdomen
  • Sore throat
  • Weakness and fatigue
  • Diarrhea, in children
  • Constipation, in adults
The patient suffers from high fever, and loses weight considerably. As the disease progresses, red spots appear on the chest of the patient. By the end of third week the patient almost starts losing his consciousness, and complications like intestinal hemorrhage may arise.

Treatment
People who suffer from typhoid fever are often treated with antibiotics, and the most common antibiotic that was used earlier was chloramphenicol. However, it is no longer used. Antibiotic treatments have become difficult owing to the development of multi-drug resistance in these bacteria. Hence, the latest or newest antibiotic is generally prescribed.

Apart from this, it is necessary to consume plenty of fluids, and eat a balanced diet. It is always advisable to follow good personal hygiene to protect yourself, and others, from such diseases. It is better to avoid raw vegetables, which have not been washed and cleaned properly.

Disclaimer: This Buzzle article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice.