typhoid fevermedical dictionary


<microbiology> An infectious febrile illness usually spread by contamination of food, milk or water supplies with Salmonella typhi, either directly by sewage, indirectly by flies or by faulty personal hygiene.

There are less than 600 cases per year in the us. Asymptomatic carriers harbor the organism in their gallbladder and excrete it in their stools for years. Average incubation time is 10-14 days. Fever, diarrhoeal stools (often bloody), abdominal pain, malaise and a rose coloured rash on the upper abdomen are seen. Severe cases may progress to delirium and obtundation. Complications include glomerulonephritis.

Treatment includes intravenous fluids and antibiotics (chloramphenicol or ampicillin). Vaccines are recommended for travel to endemic areas.

(27 Sep 1997)