The primary treatment for typhoid, as for most other diarrheal diseases, is oral rehydration solution. Typhoid is also treated with antibiotics (e.g., ceftriaxone, levofloxacin, ciprofloxacin),* which usually clear up symptoms in less than a week. People with severe typhoid also may be treated with glucocorticoids such as dexamethasone.
Very few people die of typhoid if they are properly treated. However, they are likely to be infectious for at least a week after symptoms pass. Some people remain infectious, excreting the organisms in the stool, for 3 months or more. The long-term carrier state is unlikely to occur except for those with gallbladder disease.
Careful hand-washing after bowel movements and prior to food handling will help prevent the spread of typhoid. Carriers may be treated with antibiotics for 4 to 6 weeks.
Typhoid fever can be acquired almost anywhere in the world, but it is very rare in developed countries. You have a higher risk of getting typhoid fever if you travel to developing areas such as Asia, Africa, and Latin America.
Preventing typhoid is all about avoiding contaminated food and water. The same healthy practices will also help protect you from diseases such as cholera and hepatitis A, which are transmitted in the same way. Follow these guidelines to minimize your risk:
- Boil or disinfect all water before drinking it – use disinfectant tablets or liquid available in pharmacies or drink commercially bottled (preferably carbonated) beverages.
- Peel all fruit and vegetable skins before eating.
- Keep flies away from food.
- Watch out for ice cubes, ice cream, and unpasteurized milk, which can easily be contaminated.
- Cook all food thoroughly and eat it while it's hot.
- Be aware of the "danger foods" – shellfish, salads, and raw fruit and vegetables.
- Do not eat food or drink beverages from street vendors.
At present, vaccinations against typhoid provide about 50% protection for 3 to 7 years – the duration of protection depends on the vaccine used. The vaccine is available as an oral capsule and as an injection. Your doctor will determine what form is best for you or your children. Even vaccinated people must follow the food safety tips listed above. It is best to be immunized at least 7 to 14 days before possible exposure (depending on the vaccine used).
*All medications have both common (generic) and brand names. The brand name is what a specific manufacturer calls the product (e.g., Tylenol®). The common name is the medical name for the medication (e.g., acetaminophen). A medication may have many brand names, but only one common name. This article lists medications by their common names. For information on a given medication, check our Drug Information database. For more information on brand names, speak with your doctor or pharmacist.
All material copyright MediResource Inc. 1996 – 2017. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Source: www.medbroadcast.com/condition/getcondition/Typhoid