What Are The Stages of Typhoid Fever: A Guide To Enteric Fever


What are The Stages of Typhoid Fever?

Typhoid is a fever that results from the absence of hygiene. And that is why it is very common in developing countries like India where sanitary arrangements leave much to be desired. Nearly 494 out of 100,000 people in India come down with typhoid fever every year. Globally, typhoid affects nearly 21.5 million people annually. Typhoid is caused by a bacteria- Salmonella typhi. Anybody can get typhoid if they:

  1. Consume contaminated foods

2.  Drink contaminated fluids

3.  Coming in contact with a person who has typhoid fever

Even if you strictly eat fresh foods cooked in clean utensils, you may get typhoid if you do not wash your hands before eating. Typhoid fever or enteric fever is completely curable and does not pose a risk to a person’s life if treated on time. However, if the infected person does not take medicines, it could be fatal. Fatality percentage among the untreated is high.

Read on to know the answers to what are the stages of typhoid fever, how this disease spreads and what its treatment comprises.

Typhoid fever

The bacteria Salmonella typhi enter our body through our mouths when we ingest contaminated food or water. The bacteria then burrow in through the walls of the intestines. There they multiply and eventually, this causes bacteremia. This, in turn, triggers the fever that typhoid is infamous for.

Agents of typhoid transmission

  • We know that polluted food and water cause typhoid fever. But how does this contamination happen? Here are a few ways:
  • Improper waste disposal and dumping sewage into water sources
  • Unclean public water supply
  • Perforations in water pipes that allow bacteria to seep into the water
  • Typhoid-infected people handling the food or water that you consume
  • Open defecation that pollutes the soil
  • Fruits or vegetables that grow on the land that has been fertilized with untreated sewage
  • Cooking foods in utensils washed with polluted water
  • Fishes that are cultured in polluted water bodies
  • When flies sit on your food

These 3 simple measures can almost eliminate typhoid fever outbreaks:

  • Sufficient sewage treatment and proper means of waste disposal
  • Chlorinating and filtering drinking water
  • Freeing the country completely from the menace of open defecation

What are the symptoms of typhoid in the body?

Salmonella typhi has an incubation period of almost 14 days. That means the symptoms of typhoid fever will show up in a fortnight of ingesting polluted foods or fluids. Here are some common symptoms of typhoid fever:

  • High fever that can reach 104 Fahrenheit
  • Splitting headache
  • Ache all over the body
  • Feeling restless when the person goes to bed and this might interfere with sleep
  • Loss of appetite and nausea
  • Coughing
  • Constipation or diarrhoea
  • General malaise
  • Nosebleeds
  • Pain in the abdomen
  • Blood in the stool

If you experience most of these symptoms do not dally. If you wait too long, the bacteria will cause perforation of the bowels and this will lead to peritonitis. Peritonitis can be lethal.

What are the stages of typhoid fever?

There are four distinctive stages of enteric fever and each lasts up to a week.

The first stage

In this stage, you will experience only some of the symptoms of typhoid fever such as dry cough, indolence, or headache. Fever may or may not occur. Even if it does, your body temperature will not be much higher than normal.

The second stage

During this stage, the fever runs high and the stomach becomes distended. Weight loss is another significant sign of stage 2 typhoid fever. The person might feel lethargic and agitated in alternation.

The third stage

This is the stage when things get really serious. Encephalitis or inflammation of the brain may set in. The person may become dehydrated which increases the intensity of the delirium. The person will not be able to sit up let alone stand or walk.

The fourth stage

This stage is characterized by extremely high fever. This stage also brings on several other health complications

Dangers associated with advanced typhoid fever:

  • Infections
  • Kidney failure
  • Pneumonia
  • Inflammation of the pancreas
  • Inflammation of the heart
  • Meningitis

Typhoid Treatment

Doctors diagnose typhoid fever through blood and stool tests as well as the Widal test. Once treatment commences, you will have to take antibiotics capable of killing the S Typhi bacteria.

What food is good for typhoid patients?

A typhoid patient requires food that will provide not just nutrition but also enough strength for the body to combat the bacteria and deal with the effects of antibiotics. Here are a few staples of the typhoid diet:

  • Carbohydrate-rich foods like grains and potatoes (in a porridge state for easy digestion)
  • Lean meat, dairy, soy products and chia seeds- all of these foods contain protein that the person needs for tissue repair
  • Plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration- water, lassi, coconut water or fruit juices (without sugar)
  • Soups made with spinach, carrots and chicken
  • Tea made from honey and ginger
  • Bananas are considered the go-to food for people diagnosed with typhoid fever.

Strictly avoid-

  • Foods cooked with lots of spices
  • Raw or unpeeled fruits and vegetables
  • Alcohol
  • Processed or packaged foods

Typhoid has a very low mortality rate. Take the right action at the right time. If you want to check symptoms similar to typhoid, you can talk to a doctor online with MediBuddy.