Typhoid can be debilitating, but there are ways to tackle it when it strikes. This article outlines some simple measures.
It is often confused with the ordinary fever or influenza when it first strikes, before it starts exhibiting other symptoms. Typhoid is a common illness in India, and following doctor’s medication and a proper diet and rest can help you combat it.
Typhoid is often the result of contaminated food and beverages, but it has a high rate of human-to-human transmission when there is a pronounced lack of personal hygiene at play.
What causes typhoid?
The Salmonella Typhi class of bacteria causes typhoid. This bacteria is often found in contaminated food and beverages, and it enters the human body when you consume food or drink water housing the bacteria. It passes between human beings via contaminated food and water, and other forms of direct contact.
What are the symptoms of typhoid?
There are several symptoms of typhoid that you must watch out for. The most common ones are high fever, abdominal pain and weakness, frequent dysentery and/or diarrhoea, weakness and fatigue, and headache.
When the illness advances owing to misdiagnosis or delayed treatment, the symptoms of typhoid include severe hair fall, confusion, lack of mental acuity, constipation and body rash.
Is it fatal?
Typhoid is rarely fatal, however it can assume dangerous proportions if left untreated for long. When the illness progresses, it can cause several perforations in the small intestine – this causes intestinal digestive juices to leak and results in sepsis. This can cause multiorgan failure and eventually lead to death.
How can you deal with it?
However, dealing with the symptoms of typhoid and the illness itself is not all that difficult, provided you practice the highest levels of personal and home hygiene. Consider the ways to tackle the threat of typhoid:
- Boil or UV ray-sterilise all drinking water in typhoid season.
- The civic authorities will put out a typhoid alert in case there is a contamination in the locality’s main water lines. Pay heed to these warnings and practice frequent hand hygiene. Washing your hands several times a day with antibacterial soap is a must.
- Stay away from raw and cold food. Always consume boiled water, and fresh hot tea and coffee, apart from cooked and hot food. If cooked food has gone cold, take the precaution of heating it up before consuming to kill any lurking bacteria. Avoid eating at restaurants and street food stalls during this time.
- Clean all cooking and food preparation surfaces with a solution comprising antiseptic liquid and clean water. Do this twice a day to kill all bacteria thriving on these surfaces.
- Insist on the family using hand sanitisers during a typhoid outbreak, and to not consume outside eatables during this time.