Typhoid Fever

Typhoid fever is a bacterial infection that has become rare in industrialized countries, but that is still common in countries with poor hygiene where it is responsible for 600,000 cases each year. (28)


Symptoms of typhoid fever

Following a seven to 14-day incubation period, typical signs, including diffuse abdominal pain, possibly high fever, anorexia, and very often diarrhea, progressively appear.

Daytime drowsiness and nighttime insomnia are characteristic signs.

Possible complications include gastrointestinal hemorrhage and perforation, heart failure, and encephalitis.

Effective antibiotics are available, and the prognosis in patients under treatment is usually favorable.
Nevertheless, recovery may be followed by chronic carriage during several months. Moreover, the emergence of drug-resistant strains makes the treatment more complex.


Epidemiology and vaccination against typhoid fever

The reservoir of the pathogen is strictly human.

Transmission usually occurs through the fecal-oral route by ingestion of contaminated food or water.

Prevention relies on good hygiene and vaccination.

Several vaccines against typhoid fever are available.



28 - Typhoid Fever. Review article. Christopher M. Parry, M.B, Tran Tinh Hien. The New England Journal of Medicine. Vol 347, N° 22. November 28, 2002