Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Protect your family from Typhoid Fever

Typhoid fever an infectious disease, typhoid fever is caused by a bacterium called salmonella typhi. Usually occurring during the rainy season, the disease is acquired through the fecal-oral route, as when a person doesn't wash his hands properly after going to the toilet and before handling food for drinks, or through fecal contamination of food and water facilities. The symptoms of the disease are high fever (39 C to 40 C). That last several days , and diarrhea or constipation. Headache, weakness, and loss of appetite may also be felt. There is an incubation period (before symptoms developed) of 1 to 3 weeks. A diagnosis of typhoid fever depends on finding salmonella typhi in blood or stool specimens. After recovering from typhoid, carriers may continue to excrete the bacteria in their stools and infect others. How severe thpoid fever can be varies. Some people get very ill, with wide spread infection and other complication. Many recover with treatment. Without treatment, the fatality rate can go as high as 20% of reported cases. The risk of infection is higher in areas where many people are carrier, and where help conditions and ways management are poor.

The best cure for typhoid fever is not to get it at all.. Vaccines against salmonella thyphi are available to arrest the spread of the illness and possibly eradicate it in the future. The vaccines are administered either by injections or by mouth (oral). Will they guarantee protection from the bacteria? the answer is "not completely", but vaccination will ensure that your bout with typhoid fever is shorter and less severe than if you were not vaccinated. Vaccination also helps prevent spreading the condition to others. Typhoid vaccines must be given to people over 2 years old who are traveling to places where the risk of typhoid fever is high, such as rural areas with poor hygiene and unsafe drinking water, specially if they intend to stay in those places longer than a month.

Aside from vaccination, health officials advice to :
  • Wash all fruits and vegetable thoroughly and peel them if possible, especially those to be eaten raw.
  • Wash hands with salt and water after using the toilet, before preparing food and before eating.
  • Maintain clean surroundings to prevent flies from breeding.
  • Avoid street foods.
  • Cook food properly and, once cooked, keep it covered to prevent flies from getting to it.
  • Use chlorinated water for cooking.
  • Boil drinking water for about 2-3 minutes or buy mineral bottled water.
If you get typhoid fever, treatment becomes your main focus. Vigilant fluid replacement, adequate nutrition, and appropriate medication comprise your best defends against the disease.
But just because your symptoms disappear it doesn't mean you are completely free from typhoid fever, you can still be a carrier of salmonella thypi. Your illness may recurs and you may pass on the disease to others. Take the prescribe antibiotics as directed by your Doctors. Don't stop taking them even if you are feeling well. Make sure to wash your hands with soap and water thoroughly after using the bathroom, and do not prepare or serve food to members of your family or other people. Somebody who has a typhoid fever has a responsibility of helping limit it spread.

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