Typhoid is a serious illness transmitted by the bacterium Salmonella typhi. While rarely seen in the United States, it is still common in the developing world. Common symptoms include high fever, stomach pains, headache, and a rash of flat, rose-colored spots. Treatment typically includes antibiotics and managing symptoms while the body fights the infection.
What Is Typhoid?
Typhoid is an illness caused by the bacterium Salmonella typhi. Only about 400 cases occur each year in the United States (and 75 percent of these are acquired while traveling internationally); however, the disease is still common in the developing world, where it affects about 21.5 million people each year.
What Causes It?
As mentioned, typhoid is caused by an infection with the bacterium known as Salmonella typhi (see Cause of Typhoid Fever to learn more).
How Is Typhoid Transmitted?
You can get typhoid if you eat food or drink beverages that have been handled by a person who is shedding typhoid bacteria or if sewage contaminated with the bacteria gets into the water you use for drinking or washing food (see Typhoid Fever Transmission).
Where Is the Risk for Typhoid the Greatest?
Typhoid is common in most parts of the world, except in industrialized regions, such as the United States, Canada, Western Europe, Australia, and Japan. Risk for the disease is greatest within the Indian subcontinent and other developing countries in Asia, Africa, the Caribbean, and Central and South America.