7 warning symptoms of typhoid

The monsoons are an invitation for several infections, typhoid being one of the major infectious diseases that you need to watch out for. Caused by the bacterium Salmonella typhi, typhoid spreads easily through contaminated food and water. If you have recently had food or water from an unhygienic place, look out for these symptoms.

  1. High fever: Once the pathogen starts multiplying after gaining entry into your system, the body increases temperature as its primary defense to kill them either directly, or through the action of certain immune cells that show improved function with elevated body temperature. The typical changes in the pattern of fever are a key indicator in suspecting typhoid. Fever is accompanied by chills and the temperature rises in a step-wise fashion over a period of 2-3 days and then reaches a peak of 103-104 degrees F. This fever may persist for 2 weeks or more. There could be variations in temperature at different times during the day with a high possibility of reaching the peak at the same time during the day.
  2. Headache: Moderate to severe headache may be common as the fever rises and drops throughout the day.
  3. Lethargy: Increase in body temperature inactivates digestive enzymes. So, you may not feel hungry and you may even feel full soon after having a small portion size. Loss of appetite causes generalized weakness and fatigue and feelings of lethargy.
  4. Enlarged spleen & liver: Spleenomegaly or enlarged spleen and hepatomegaly or enlarged liver is usually seen after a week of illness and remains evident as the temperature remains elevated throughout the day. This is especially seen in children suffering from typhoid.
  5. Rose-colored spots: One week after the symptoms set in, careful physical examination may reveal peculiar spots on the chest and stomach. Clinically, these are non-tender lesions that occur when the causative pathogen S. typhi infiltrates the endothelial cells of skin capillaries. A biopsy of these spots may therefore show the presence of these pathogens in the lesions.
  6. Diarrhea and vomiting: Most of the patients experience diarrhea or loose motions initially. In fact, they may even present as a typical case of acute gastroenteritis to a local health clinic. Inflammation of the abdominal lining can even cause gastrointestinal bleeding, which may result in dark, bloody stools. In some cases, usually the uncomplicated ones, vomiting may also be seen.
  7. Abdominal pain: With diarrhea and vomiting, stomach pain and cramps also begin. Invasion of the stomach wall by the pathogens can cause severe pain. At this point examination of the abdomen may reveal tenderness and swelling.

If you have any of these symptoms, get a blood test done immediately to detect the presence of typhoid for faster recovery.

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