Typhoid fever symptoms include a high fever, stomach pain and diarrhea. These symptoms can get worse if you don’t get treatment with antibiotics. You may develop complications, including bleeding and kidney failure. These symptoms can be fatal if left untreated.
The bacteria that cause typhoid fever live in your body’s intestines and are carried from person to person through contact with contaminated food or water. They can also pass from person to person through contact with people who are infected with the disease.
Symptoms usually appear between one and three weeks after exposure to the bacteria. They include fever, headache, diarrhea (loose stool/poop), rose-colored spots on the trunk of your body, and an enlarged spleen and liver. Relapses are common and occur in about 8 to 10% of people who do not get treated with antibiotics.
A doctor will diagnose typhoid fever using your symptoms, your travel history and lab tests to confirm the infection. They’ll also ask you questions about the type of foods you eat and drink, if you use ice or tap water, whether you used soap before going to the bathroom and if you took a shower with contaminated water.
Stage 1. You’ll have a high fever for a few days and may feel very tired. You might have a headache and a sore throat. Your skin may turn pink, and you might have a small red rash called a “Rose spot.”
2. You’ll develop stomach aches and diarrhea, and your Peyer’s patches (part of your immune system that identifies harmful invaders) will become inflamed.
3. The fever will stay high, and you might have a sore throat and a cough. You might also have a rash that looks like a sunburn.
4. You’ll lose weight and your energy level will decrease.
You’ll probably have a low appetite, but you might not eat as much as usual. You might also have diarrhea and be constipated.
5. You might have a sore throat and aches in your joints and muscles.
Your doctor will also check your blood pressure, heart rate and lungs for signs of serious infection. You might be given an inactivated typhoid vaccine and have a stool culture, which tests for the bacteria.
6. You might have a fever and diarrhea, but you’ll feel better within 2 to 4 weeks.
You might be discharged from the hospital with a prescription for antibiotics. You’ll need to take them as directed. If you start feeling better before the antibiotics are finished, your doctor will give you another course of medication.
8. You might have a sore throat and fever, but you’ll be better within a week of finishing the antibiotics.
9. You’ll have a sore throat and fever, and you might be better within a week of finishing the medication.
10. You’ll have a sore throat, diarrhea, and aches in your joints and muscles.
Your doctor will check your blood pressure, heart rate and tendons for signs of serious infection. You might be diagnosed with a bacterial infection called paratyphoid.