The infection is caused by certain bacteria. It is in the stools and body fluids of an infected person. It can get passed into food and drinks. This can happen when an infected person has unclean hands. It can also happen if food and water are tainted with sewage.
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Typhoid is common in places with poor sanitation. The risk of getting sick is highest in parts of India, Africa, and Asia.
Things that raise the risk are:
- Having close contact with an infected person
- Not having the typhoid vaccine
- Having food or drink tainted by sewage
- Not washing hands carefully
- Having low stomach acid or taking acid reducers
Mild symptoms may be:
- Low fever
- Constipation—more common in adults
- Diarrhea—more common in children
- Rose-colored rash
- Dry cough
- A coating on the tongue
- Lack of hunger
Severe symptoms may be:
- High fever and chills—may last a long time
- Belly pain
- Changes in mental state
Typhoid is treated with antibiotics. Other options are:
- Fluids by mouth or IV to treat dehydration
- Medicines to lower fever or ease pain
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
Edits to original content made by Denver Health.
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