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Typhoid Is A Food Traveller’s Nightmare!

Typhoid fever is generally regarded as a travel related disease. This means that travellers travelling to the Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asian countries and South Pacific nations are at higher risk of getting typhoid fever. Southeast Asian countries include Malaysia, which means you can get infected whilst eating at Malaysian eateries. It mostly spreads through contaminated food and water.

Cleaning Up Our Act

Due to the fact that he bacteria sheds through an infected person’s faeces, S. typhi can easily to spread through contaminated food and beverages, especially when handled by those with typhoid fever or its carriers. We can reduce the risk of spread by washing our hands carefully with soap and water after using the bathroom and avoid preparing or serving food for other people.

Spotting The Disease Is Not Easy Either

Typhoid fever is caused by the bacterium Salmonella Typhi. As it’s name, typhoid fever, indicates, it is characterised by sustained or prolonged fever, which is sometimes to general of a symptom. Persons with typhoid fever may also feel weak, have stomach pains, headache or loss of appetite. They may even have a rash of rose coloured spots. Serious complications of typhoid may arise such as excessive bleeding in the intestines (intestinal haemorrhage). They generally occur 2-3 weeks of illness and may be life threatening.

Tricky To Treat

In fact, S. typhi can only live within the human body, specifically in the bloodstream and intestinal tract. Treatment of S. typhi involves the use of antibiotics. It is very important to finish the antibiotics even if the symptoms may seem to have subsided. This is to prevent the typhoid fever from relapsing.

Sometimes S. typhi bacteria will never go away even after recovery from the fever, especially in cases where antibiotic treatment was not used. The bacteria gets integrated as part of the internal flora. These people become carriers and continue to shed typhoid bacteria in their faeces.

Antibiotic Resistance

However the use of antibiotics (fluoroquinolone and ciprofloxacin) to treat typhoid fever is reaching its limitations. These antibiotics are no longer effective in treating typhoid fever. Healthcare professionals are having to resort to other antibiotics (cephalosporins and azithromycin) to treat typhoid fever. Patients who don’t receive antibiotic treatment will continue to have fever for weeks and months, and as many as 20% will die from complications.

Cleaning Up Our Act

Due to the fact that he bacteria sheds through an infected person’s faeces, S. typhi can easily to spread through contaminated food and beverages, especially when handled by those with typhoid fever or its carriers. We can reduce the risk of spread by washing our hands carefully with soap and water after using the bathroom and avoid preparing or serving food for other people.

Getting Typhoid Fever In Control

Typhoid fever is still common in the developing world, affecting about 21.5 million people globally each year. Mass outbreaks can also happen when sewage contaminated S. typhi get into the community water supply. The only way you can prevent an infection in cases like this is through vaccination.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends that we use vaccination and good hygiene practice as the two-prongs to control this disease and stop it from spreading.

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