Diseases Home > More Information on Typhoid

What Are the Symptoms?

When a person becomes infected with the bacteria that cause typhoid, the bacteria begin to multiply and spread into the bloodstream. After 3 to 60 days, symptoms can appear. This period between becoming infected and the start of symptoms is the incubation period.
Symptoms vary among individuals. Some people will have mild symptoms, while others could experience serious symptoms, including death.
Symptoms of typhoid fever commonly seen include:
  • Stomach pains
  • Headache
  • Rash of flat, rose-colored spots
  • Weakness
  • Bloody nose
  • Loss of appetite
  • Constipation
  • Decreased heart rate
  • Fever as high as 103°F to 104°F (39°C to 40°C).

How Is Typhoid Diagnosed?

In order to make a typhoid fever diagnosis, your doctor will:
  • Ask a number of questions, including about your recent medical and travel history
  • Perform a physical exam
  • Recommend certain tests.
In addition, your doctor will rule out other conditions with similar symptoms, such as:

Treatment Options

Typhoid treatment involves using antibiotics that can kill the bacteria. Treatment usually focuses on providing relief of symptoms as the body and antibiotics fight the illness.
If treatment is started early, the prognosis is usually good. With proper treatment, the mortality rate is generally under 1 percent.

Carriers of Typhoid

Even after symptoms go away, approximately 3 to 5 percent of people may still carry the typhoid bacteria. These people are known as typhoid carriers. In carriers, it is possible for the illness to return or be passed on to other people. The most famous typhoid carrier was Mary Mallon, known to history as Typhoid Mary.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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