Typhoid Fever

Typhoid fever is a bacterial infection of the intestinal tract and occasionally the bloodstream. Most of the cases are acquired during foreign travel to underdeveloped countries. Typhoid fever is caused by Salmonella Typhi (S. Typhi), a strain of bacteria that lives only in humans.

Typhoid germs are passed in the feces and, to some extent, the urine of infected people. The germs are spread by eating or drinking water or foods contaminated by feces from the infected individual.

Symptoms may be mild or severe and may include fever, headache, constipation or diarrhea, rose-colored spots on the trunk and an enlarged spleen and liver. Relapses are common. Fatalities are less than 1 percent with antibiotic treatment.

Specific antibiotics such as ampicillin, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole and ciprofloxacin are often used to treat cases of typhoid.