Why in News:
- The bacteria causing typhoid fever is becoming increasingly resistant to some of the most important antibiotics for human health, according to a study published in The Lancet Microbe journal.
- Typhoid fever is a bacterial infection that can spread throughout the body, affecting many organs. Without prompt treatment, it can cause serious complications and can be fatal.
- It’s caused by a bacterium called Salmonella typhi, which is related to the bacteria that cause salmonella food poisoning.
- Typhoid fever and paratyphoid fever are similar diseases caused by bacteria. Salmonella Typhi bacteria cause typhoid fever. Salmonella Paratyphi bacteria cause paratyphoid fever.
- Typhoid fever is highly contagious. An infected person can pass the bacteria out of their body in feces or, less commonly, in their urine. This typically happens when an infected person uses the bathroom and does not wash their hands.
- The bacteria can stay on their hands and contaminate everything that the person touches, including any food and drinks.
- If someone else eats food or drinks water that’s been contaminated with a small amount of infected feces or urine, they can become infected with the bacteria and develop typhoid fever.
- In countries with poor sanitation, the water used to rinse and prepare food and beverages can also be contaminated with these bacteria. Travelers who eat foods or drink beverages contaminated with these bacteria can then get sick.
Signs and symptoms usually include:
- High fever
- Stomach pain
- Constipation or diarrhea
- Typhoid fever requires prompt treatment with antibiotics.
- Antibiotics can be used to successfully treat typhoid fever infections, but their effectiveness is threatened by the emergence of resistant S. Typhi strains.
Major affected areas
- Typhoid and paratyphoid fever are most common in parts of the world with poor sanitation. This includes parts of Asia (especially India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh), Africa, the Caribbean, Central and South America, and the Middle East.