Good personal and home hygiene can keep typhoid at bay. We take a look at its symptoms and some simple preventive measures.
Typhoid is caused by consuming contaminated food or water. The infection incubates inside the body for a couple of days, and begins to affect several organs at once. It is also highly contagious under certain circumstances. If left untreated, it can even become fatal.
This article examines the causes of typhoid are, what symptoms you should be looking out for, and how to prevent the disease.
What causes typhoid?
A person falls prey to typhoid by coming in contact with salmonella typhi, a type of bacteria, usually found in an infected person’s urine or faeces. Consuming any food or water containingthese bacteriacan cause typhoid. The diseasealso spreads by consuming food from vessels that have come in contact with sewage water.
People who have recovered from typhoid still have traces of the bacteria in their body. They may inadvertentlypass on the bacteria to others, so it is better to sanitise shared cooking vessels, crockery and cutlery for a few weeks after the patient’s recovery.
What are typhoid symptoms?
Knowing the symptoms of typhoid will help you treat the infection faster. The following are the most common signs of typhoid:
*Constipation or diarrhoea
* High fever (103°F- 105°F)
* Stomach pains
Typhoid takes about two weeks of sustained treatment with antibiotics, fluid intake and plenty of bed rest.
How to prevent typhoid
Knowing the causes of typhoid and its symptoms will help you take steps to prevent it. The following basic precautions will help you keep the illness away from your home and loved ones:
1). Get vaccinated: Speak to your general physician for typhoid vaccinations. It is wise to get vaccinated two weeks before travelling to developing countries.
2). Boil water: Typhoid is highly contagious via contaminated water. Ensure the water you drink is boiled, or sourced from a water purifier with RO technology.
3). Wash hands: Clean your hands thoroughly before handling raw food, before eating your meals, after using the washroom, or after doing the dishes. Use an anti-bacterial liquid handwash that offers 99.9% protection from germs every time you wash your hands.
4) Keep toilets clean: Use good quality toilet cleaners and brushes to scrub your toilets clean. Clean all the surrounding areas – toilet floors, flush tank, handle,cistern – thoroughly. Do not use the cloths and brushes used to clean your washrooms to clean any other parts of your home.
5) Avoid food from street vendors: Raw street food from unhygienic places is one of the most common ways to get typhoid. In particular, avoid any street food that contains raw vegetables and fruits, water, milk and curd.
Understanding the causes of typhoid will help you prevent it more effectively. Good personal hygiene, clean toilets and kitchen, and knowing how your food is prepared before you consume it will keep you and your family healthy for a long time to come.