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A Comprehensive Overview of Typhoid Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

Home > Blogs > A Comprehensive Overview of Typhoid Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

A Comprehensive Overview of Typhoid Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

Internal Medicine | by Dr. Sujoy Mukherjee | Published on 16/06/2023

Typhoid Fever is an illness caused by the bacterium known as Salmonella enterica serotype Typhi. It remains a relevant worldwide health concern, particularly in regions with restricted clean water access, sanitation, and healthcare facilities. Despite the amazing latest technological and other advancements in medical science, this relentless disease continues to impact millions of people yearly causing morbidity and mortality.

Throughout history, typhoid fever has evolved as a formidable adversary, exerting its impact on various aspects of society which includes public health, sanitation practices, and even literature. Notably, it played a major role to shape our understanding of infectious diseases and the development of breakthrough medical interventions. There is one of the best multispeciality hospitals like The Calcutta Medical Research Institute that has been raising awareness linked to major health concerns like typhoid fever regularly. You can get in touch with them anytime you experience typhoid fever symptoms. 

In this blog, we will cover everything that’s related to typhoid fever, so make sure to stick to the end.

What is Typhoid Fever?

Typhoid fever is also simply referred to as typhoid which is a bacterial infection. It is caused by the bacterium Salmonella enterica serotype Typhi (S. Typhi). It is significantly transmitted through contaminated food or water ingestion. This fever is more common in areas that have poor sanitation and restricted access to clean water.

After the bacteria have entered the body, they keep multiplying in the intestines and spreading to the bloodstream which causes a systemic infection. The typhoid fever symptoms typically grow within one to three weeks after exposure.

What are Typhoid Fever Symptoms?

The typhoid fever symptoms might vary in severity, and some people might experience milder symptoms or can be asymptomatic as well. Some of the most common typhoid fever symptoms include: 

  • High fever: It keeps increasing to 103-104 degrees Fahrenheit (39-40 degrees Celsius)
  • Headache: Severe and persistent headaches
  • Abdominal pain: Abdominal discomfort generally around the navel area 
  • Weakness and fatigue: Always tired, lethargic, and weak
  • Loss of appetite: Less desire to eat and sudden weight loss 
  • Diarrhea or constipation: Persistent diarrhea or continuous changes in bowel habits
  • Rash: A rose-colored rash of small, flat spots on the torso and abdomen
  • Muscle aches: Continuous muscle and joint pain
  • Dry cough: Constant dry cough 
  • Enlarged spleen and liver: In severe cases, the spleen and liver become enlarged

What causes Typhoid Fever?

Typhoid fever occurs due to the bacterium Salmonella enterica serotype Typhi (S. Typhi). There are various causes of typhoid fever and modes of transmission. Let’s have a look at these typhoid causes:

  • Contaminated food and water: One of the most common causes is contaminated water and food with the feces of an infected individual. It occurs due to improper hygiene practices, handwashing, and preparing food with contaminated water. 
  • Fecal-oral transmission: It can be transmitted through the bacteria present in the infected person’s stool and without proper hygiene practices it contaminates surfaces, objects., etc. causing the infection to spread. 
  • Carriers: Even when people with typhoid fever are recovered they might harbor the bacteria in their gallbladder or digestive system. Such people are known as carriers and unintentionally can spread the infection to others. 
  • Close contact: Typhoid fever through coming in close contact with an infected person who is spreading the bacteria actively. It occurs through improper hygiene practices like inappropriate handwashing after using the toilet and handling contaminated objects.

What are the stages of typhoid fever?

Typhoid fever usually advances through four stages, each determined by particular symptoms. Here are these four stages:

  • Incubation stage: This is the period between the beginning of the infection and the initiation of symptoms. This stage lasts for about 6 to 30 days, and bacteria multiply quicker and spread within the body.


  • The first stage (Week 1): This is the initiation stage of symptoms which keeps worsening gradually. Common symptoms of this stage are fatigue, general weakness, fever, and a dry cough. 


  • The second stage (Week 2): In the second week, the symptoms begin to intensify and the fever becomes more pronounced. Symptoms like abdominal pain, diarrhea, tenderness, distension, constipation, etc. occur in this stage. 


  • Third stage (Week 3-4): This stage is known as the convalescent stage in which the immune system starts working to control the infection. Symptoms like abdominal pain, fever, headache, and weakness start to subside. However, recovery might take time, so enough rest is recommended for an individual.

What are the options for typhoid treatment?

Antibiotics are the usual option for typhoid treatment depending on the severity of the condition and the stage of typhoid fever. Generally, antibiotics like azithromycin, carbapenems, ciprofloxacin, and ceftriaxone are recommended. In case, if the situation worsens and there is a need then a steroid like dexamethasone is given to the patient. Other than antibiotics, it is recommended to drink plenty of fluids to the patient and take precautionary measures as much as possible to prevent contamination and recover quicker. 


Typhoid fever is one of the illnesses that haven’t been taken care of significantly and due to this millions of people suffer from this annually. There are vaccinations available for the problem and it is important to get medical attention right away. It is not an illness that can be overlooked otherwise and must be taken seriously. So, if you suspect that you might have contaminated the disease or experienced any symptoms, make sure to consult the best healthcare professionals at CMRI. They will ensure diagnosing and offering the right treatment that’s suitable for you according to your needs.



How long does typhoid fever last?

Typhoid fever generally lasts for not more than three to five days.

Does the typhoid vaccine cause fever in babies?

Yes, babies might experience fever after typhoid vaccination.

Is typhoid a severe fever?

Typhoid fever is a life-threatening disease as spreads through the ingestion of contaminated food and water.