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Understanding Typhoid Fever: Symptoms, Treatment, and Prevention

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Typhoid fever or more commonly known as typhus is an acute disease caused by the bacteria Salmonella typhi. This bacteria is usually found in contaminated water or food. Apart from that, this bacteria can also be transmitted from infected people.

A person infected with the bacteria that causes typhus can spread throughout the body, affecting many organs in the sufferer’s body. People infected with typhoid fever can transmit bacteria through feces and urine, eating and drinking that have been contaminated with the urine or feces of typhoid sufferers. Or consuming food handled by someone who is experiencing typhus and has not been declared cured by a doctor. Typhoid fever is a bacterial infection that can spread throughout the body and affect many organs. Without fast and appropriate treatment, this disease can cause serious complications that can be fatal.

Once you are infected, the body will usually experience various initial signs and symptoms such as:
1. Fever that increases every day until it reaches 39o — 40o Celsius
2. Headache
3. Weak and tired
4. Muscle pain
5. Sweating
6. Dry cough
7. Loss of appetite and weight loss
8. Stomach ache
9. Diarrhea or constipation
10. A rash appears on the skin in the form of small pink spots
11. Swollen stomach
12. If you don’t get proper treatment, you will experience conditions such as:
13. Delirious
14. Lying weak with half-closed eyes
15. Apart from that, complications that can arise include bleeding in the intestines and intestinal rupture.


The cause of typhus or typhoid fever is the bacteria Salmonella typhi. Usually this bacteria is spread through:
1. The patient’s feces and urine contaminate water or food
2. Salmonella typhi bacteria can also spread through direct contact with people who are infected (serving food by people who are experiencing typhoid fever).
Antibiotics are the single most effective treatment for typhoid fever. Usually the doctor will prescribe various antibiotics. and there are several treatments that can be done, namely:
1. Drink lots of water
Drinking water when you have typhus helps prevent dehydration caused by prolonged fever and diarrhea. If you experience severe dehydration, the doctor will give you fluids through a vein (infusion).

2. Bed rest
In order to recover quickly, rest is something that helps the recovery process from this disease. Try not to do various strenuous activities that drain your energy so that your body can quickly get fit and avoid typhoid complications.

3. Eat food that is easy to digest
Typhus is an intestinal disorder, so it is recommended to eat foods that are easy to digest, such as porridge and other soft foods. That way, the work of the intestines becomes lighter. Eating foods that are easy to digest also means the nutrients in the food are absorbed more quickly by the body.

1. Keeping clean
One of the preventive measures that can be taken to prevent this disease is to wash your hands regularly before and after eating, after carrying out activities and when serving food/cooking. Clean your hands with soap and running water. In an emergency, hands can be cleaned with a hand sanitizer containing at least 70% alcohol.
Apart from that, maintain personal hygiene, especially after traveling outside the house, especially the market. Try not to touch your eyes, nose and mouth with dirty hands. Also make sure to wash your feet every time you leave the house.
2. Avoid contact with sick people
Bacteria spread very easily from one person to another. For this reason, avoid too close contact with people who are sick. Kissing and using the same eating or bathing utensils as a sick person can increase the risk of transmitting the disease.
3. Typhoid vaccine
One way to prevent typhus is with the typhoid vaccine. This vaccine can be given if it is necessary if you are vulnerable or at high risk of contracting this disease by first consulting a doctor.
4. Consume food and drinks that are guaranteed to be clean
Food and drink are one of the most common transmission media for typhus. Therefore, try to always eat and drink things that are kept clean. Eating food that is cooked and served hot is much better than raw or undercooked food.

5. Not preparing/serving food while still sick
Try not to cook or prepare food until the doctor states that the bacteria are no longer contagious. So as not to transmit/infect typhus to other people.

In some cases, typhoid fever can cause serious complications, including:
1. Intestinal bleeding which can damage the intestinal wall
2. Perforation or hole in the intestine
3. Inflammation of the heart or myocarditis
4. Infection and inflammation in various organs of the body, including hepatitis, kidney disorders, and
5. lymph node infection

Risk factors for typhoid fever
Although typhoid fever more often attacks children, there are a number of other factors that can increase a person’s risk of developing typhoid fever, namely:
1. Visit or work in an area with high cases of typhoid fever
2. Make direct contact with sufferers of typhoid fever
3. Living in a dirty and poor sanitation environment
4. Work as a health worker who treats typhoid fever sufferers
5. Eating vegetables or fruit that are not washed thoroughly
6. Using the same toilet as the sufferer and not washing your hands afterwards
7. Eating seafood from water contaminated with bacteria
8. Have oral sex with someone suffering from typhoid fever

Diagnosis Demam Typhoid
The doctor will ask questions about the symptoms, as well as the patient’s medical and travel history. After that, the doctor will perform a physical examination by measuring body temperature, looking for a reddish rash on the skin, and pressing the stomach to check for swelling in the liver or spleen.
To confirm the diagnosis, the doctor will carry out a number of further examinations, namely:
1. Blood, urine and stool tests, to detect the presence of Salmonella typhi bacteria
2. Bone marrow aspiration, to further confirm the presence of Salmonella typhi bacteria from the results of blood, urine and feces tests, but this test is rarely done
3. Widal test, to detect antibodies against Salmonella typhi bacteria
4. TUBEX TF test, to detect antibodies against Salmonella typhi bacteria with higher sensitivity than the Widal test
Considering that the Widal test works by detecting antibodies against Salmonella typhi bacteria, this test can give positive results even if the patient does not suffer from typhoid fever. Therefore, in determining test results, doctors will be more careful in order to get an accurate diagnosis.

When Should You See a Doctor?
Typhoid fever requires medical treatment to ensure proper treatment and speed recovery. If you feel you have typhus symptoms, immediately seek medical help to get a diagnosis and treatment as soon as possible before the symptoms worsen and complications occur.

Rahmat, W., Akune, K., & Sabir, M. (2019). Typhoid Fever Complicated with Sepsis: Definition, Epidemiology, Pathogenesis, and a Case Report. Journal of the Medical Profession, 3(3), 220–225.
Zein, U. (2012). Fever Pocket Book. National Library: In-Published Catalog (Vol. 96). Medan: USU Press.
Azizah, F., Imam M, D., & Rahmad, V. (2014). Description of Typhoid Patients’ Attitudes in Consuming Water as an Effort to Lower Body Temperature, 19, 28–33
Bhandari, J., Thada, PK, & DeVos, E. (2020). Typhoid Fever. StatPearls. StatPearls Publishing. Retrieved from Buckle, G. C., Walker, C. L. F., & Black, R. E. (2012). Typhoid fever and paratyphoid fever: Systematic review to estimate global morbidity and mortality for 2010. Journal of Global Health, 2(1), 1–9.

2023-10-08 17:06:15
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