Typhoid fever

An infectious disease contracted by eating food or drinking water contaminated with the bacterium. Typhoid fever is spread by drinking water contaminated with sewage, by flies carrying the bacteria from faeces to food, or by infected people handling food. The 1st symptom, severe headache, occurs 7–14 days after infection and is followed by fever, loss of appetite, malaise, abdominal tenderness, constipation, and often delirium. Diarrhoea soon develops. In the 2nd week of illness, pink spots develop on the chest and abdomen, and the liver and spleen enlarge. Diagnosis is confirmed by a blood test or by obtaining a culture of typhoid bacteria from blood, faeces, or urine. Treatment is with antibiotic drugs. In rare cases, the bacterium continues to be excreted after recovery has taken place.


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