What are the symptoms of typhoid fever?

Symptoms of typhoid fever usually develop five to 21 days following ingestion of food or water contaminated with Salmonella Typhi bacteria and can last up to a month or longer. Typical symptoms of typhoid fever include:

  • Abdominal pain and tenderness
  • Confusion
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Dry cough
  • Fever and chills. A sustained fever of 104 degrees Fahrenheit is not uncommon with typhoid fever.
  • Headache
  • Lethargy
  • Malaise (general ill feeling)
  • Mood changes
  • Nosebleeds
  • Rash (small, flat, red rashes on the belly and chest that are also known as rose spots)
  • Swollen lymph nodes

Symptoms that might indicate a serious or life-threatening condition

Typhoid fever can lead to life-threatening complications, including intestinal bleeding, kidney failure, and peritonitis. Seek immediate medical care (call 911) if you, or someone you are with, have any of these symptoms:

  • Bloody stools or major rectal bleeding

  • Change in level of consciousness or alertness

  • Confusion, delirium, hallucinations or disorientation

  • Dizziness that is unexplained or persistent

  • Dry, cracked lips, mouth or tongue

  • Lethargy or unresponsiveness

  • Not urinating or urinating small amounts of tea-colored urine

  • Severe abdominal pain

  • Severe diarrhea

In infants, serious symptoms include sunken fontanels (soft spot) on the top of the head, lethargy, no tears with crying, few or no wet diapers, and diarrhea. Be particularly concerned about fever in infants two months of age or younger.


What is typhoid fever?

Typhoid fever, also called enteric fever, is a contagious, potentially life-threatening bacterial infection. Typhoid fever is caused by the bacterium Salmonella enteric serotype Typhi (also known as Salmonella Typhi), which is carried by infected humans in the blood and digestive tract and spreads to others through food and drinking water contaminated with infected feces. Symptoms of typ... Read more about typhoid feverintroduction


What causes typhoid fever?

Typhoid fever is caused by the bacterium Salmonella enteric serotype Typhi (Salmonella Typhi). Salmonella Typhi can enter and infect the body through ingestion of contaminated food and water. Food can become contaminated with the bacteria by being washed in contaminated water or by being touched by an infected person with unwashed hands. Drinking water can become contaminat... Read more about typhoid fevercauses


How is typhoid fever treated?

Typhoid fever is a treatable disease and can often be cured with a full course of antibiotics, such as ampicillin, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, or ciprofloxacin. In some severe cases, treatment may require rehydration with intravenous fluids and electrolyte replacement therapy. With treatment, symptoms typically improve within two to four weeks. Symptoms may return if you have not been comple... Read more about typhoid fevertreatments

Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS Last Annual Review Date: Sep 20, 2013 Copyright: © Copyright 2014 Health Grades, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Health Grades, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the HealthGrades User Agreement.

This Article is Filed Under: Infections and Contagious Diseases

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