What You Need to Know About Typhoid Fever
How Is Typhoid Fever 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.
As part of the diagnostic process, your healthcare provider will rule out conditions with similar symptoms, such as:
Typhoid fever treatment involves antibiotics that can kill the bacteria. Treatment is focused on providing relief of symptoms as the body and antibiotics fight the illness.
When appropriate treatment is started early, the prognosis is good. With proper treatment, the mortality rate is generally under 1 percent, and few complications should occur.
Approximately 3 to 5 percent of people may still carry the typhoid fever bacteria, even if symptoms go away with treatment. These people are known as typhoid fever carriers. The most famous carrier was Mary Mallon, better known as Typhoid Mary. In carriers, it is possible for the illness to return or be passed on to other people.
One way to prevent typhoid fever is with the typhoid vaccine. There are two types of vaccines. One vaccine contains killed Salmonella typhi bacteria. This vaccine is administered by an injection (shot). The other vaccine contains a live but weakened strain of the Salmonella bacteria. This vaccine is taken by mouth.
It may surprise you, but watching what you eat and drink when you travel is as important as being vaccinated. This is because the typhoid vaccines are not completely effective. Avoiding risky foods will also help protect you from other illnesses, including: