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Typhoid fever

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  • 1. Typhoid Fever Vania Lundina Typhoid Fever is an infectious bacterial fever with an eruption of red spots onthe chest and abdomen and severe intestinal irritation. This disease is transmitted bythe ingestion of food or water contaminated with the feces of an infected person.More than 21 million people in the world suffered from typhoid fever each year. This fever is common in most parts of the world except for the industrializedor developed regions like the United States, Canada, Western Europe, Australia andJapan. The risk of typhoid fever is greatest within Indian sub-continent and otherdeveloping countries in Africa, Asia, the Carribean, Central and South America. Infectious bacteria called Salmonella Typhi cause this fever. These bacteriaare included in the family of Enterobactericeae. The shape is bacilli or rod-like. Afteringestion, Salmonella invade the small intestine and enter the bloodstreamtemporarily. The time when the multiplied bacteria reenter the bloodstream is whenthe patients develop symptoms. This process happens in 3 to 60 days after theingestion of bacteria. The period between the start of symptoms and being infected iscalled the typhoid fever incubation period. There are some impacts caused from suffering this disease, such as thechanging mental status and a sudden attack of illness may occur. Intestinal bleedingmay also occur in the patient’s body. Weight loss also happen due to the patient’s lossof appetite and this also causes motionless or having no enthusiasm in doingactivities. The patients are mostly attacked by mental delirium, which caused acutelydisturbed state of mind or hallucinations. In determining this disease, there are some symptoms that can be seen earlier.The patients may have poor appetite, headaches, high fever, diarrhea caused by theintestine irritation, bloody nose and also lethargy or loss of energy. These symptomsmay also resemble other kinds of diseases like malaria. In curing this fever, certain types of drugs are consumed by the patient.Typhoid is treated with antibiotics that kill the Salmonella bacteria. With appropriateantibiotic therapy, there is usually improvement within 1 to 2 days and recoverywithin 7-10 days. The original drug to this disease is chloramphenicol. Some typhoidvaccines are also available, but not 100% effective. Is typhoid fever grave? The answer is absolutely yes. In severe typhoid cases,
  • 2. complications such as intestinal perforations, bleeding, heart and nervous disorderscan develop resulting to death. The danger is also increased by the fact that thisailment does have signs similar to those of many other diseases hence one’s case canbe misdiagnosed. This also can lead to an abrupt death. However if only people canget into the habit of seeking medical attention as early as possible, these deaths can beprevented by making a correct diagnosis. There are some influencing/triggering factors that lead to typhoid disease.Eating food that is contaminated from the food handler who is infected with typhoidfever is one of them. People who do international travel a lot may also suffer fromtyphoid disease. Poor water sanitation, poverty and raw food materials also lead totyphoid disease in certain community, especially in developing regions where cleanwater are hard to get like in Africa There is one interesting phenomena about this disease, which is the sad storyof Typhoid Mary. Mary Mallon worked as a cook for a New York banker CharlesHenry Warren when they’re on their summer vacation in Long Island. On August 27,one of Warren’s daughters became ill with typhoid fever. Soon, Warren’s wife andtwo maids became ill, followed by their gardener and another Warren daughter.Finally, six out of eleven people in the house came down with typhoid. Since the source of typhoid are mostly through water and food sources,Warren was afraid that he would not be able to rent the property again withoutdiscovering the source of the outbreak. Then he hired a civil engineer with experienceon typhoid fever outbreaks. He believed that Mary Mallon, the recently cook was thecause. He then investigated her and found out that she had been carrying typhoid fromjob to job and infected 22 people, including a young girl who died after Mallon hadcome to work for them. To avoid this disease, we should keep ourselves a healthy life. We have toprepare food and hygiene safely and healthy. One of the easiest ways to preventtyphoid is by washing our hands before we eat and cook. Actions are needed if yoususpect yourself or other people have typhoid fever, because it may continue to causemore deaths resulting from delayed treatment.