There have been a few reported cases of Typhoid identified within the Greater Johannesburg area recently. Even though the situation is under control, here are 5 facts about Typhoid for you to know and keep you safe.
What is Typhoid?
Typhoid (or Enteric Fever) is an illness caused by a bacterial infection. The bacteria responsible for Typhoid is a strain of Salmonella and was an illness that was feared in the pre-antibiotic era. Typhoid is easily spread and has an epidemic potential. It is most commonly found in Asia, Africa and South America.
How can I get Typhoid?
Typhoid is contracted by ingesting faecal matter (poo) that’s infected with the salmonella bacteria or through contaminated food and water. People with Typhoid can pass the bacteria onto others especially if their sanitation and hygiene is poor.
How do I prevent getting infected with Typhoid?
A strict regime of hand washing (especially after going to the toilet and before food preparation) will reduce the spread of Typhoid. Only drink safe, treated water and ensure adequate sanitation methods are used. A vaccine can also be administered for travellers that will be visiting high risk Typhoid areas.
What are the signs and symptoms?
Headaches, loss of appetite, fever, constipation or diarrhoea, stomach ache, painful joints, weakness and a rash on the chest and back (light pink spots between 2cm-4cm) are all signs of Typhoid. If you have these symptoms please get to a doctor immediately.
How do I get tested & treated for Typhoid?
A stool and/or blood sample will be taken to test for Typhoid. If your samples are positive for Typhoid then a treatment of antibiotics will be prescribed. Typhoid is fully curable with antibiotics.