Typhoid is a bacterial infection that spreads through contaminated food and water. However, many people often wonder if you can suffer from typhoid fever more than once. Let us look at this in detail.
Can You Suffer From Typhoid Fever More Than Once?
Typhoid is a disease caused by Salmonella typhi bacterium. It is a highly contagious infection and an infected person can pass the bacteria out of their body through stool and urine. If any person who eats food or drinks water contaminated with the virus, can get infected with the bacteria and develop typhoid fever.
The symptoms presented by a person suffering from typhoid fever are:
As the condition progresses the patient may lose appetite, have abdominal pain, and diarrhea. Untreated typhoid can continue to get worse the following weeks and the risk of developing fatal complications would increase. Yes you can suffer from typhoid fever more than once. It can occur in the form of relapse, which is generally seen in the following weeks after the initial infection. However, some people can suffer from a typhoid infection months or years later than the previous one. While it is possible that you can suffer from typhoid fever more than once, there are various factors contributing to it. In some cases, the changes in the strains of the bacteria too play an important role.1
Here are some of the contributing factors increasing your risk of suffering from typhoid fever more than once:
Ineffective Treatment – Incomplete treatment is a major reason for relapse of typhoid fever. So, when thinking about can you suffer from typhoid fever more than once, you need to consider this. Some people miss the treatment if they start feeling better. This leads to antibiotic resistance, which in the future would require stronger antibiotics to treat the relapse of typhoid fever. It is therefore very important to complete the antibiotic course even if you feel better within a few days after taking these drugs.
Ineffective Vaccines – Typhoid vaccines are used to prevent typhoid infections. They are highly recommended for people who travel most often to the places where typhoid is common. The vaccines are not hundred percent effective and if the preventive measures are missed, a person can get infected with the bacterium and develop typhoid. Also, typhoid vaccine becomes ineffective after several years, which increases your risk of suffering from fever more than once. People who are at risk should get the booster doses for the inactivated vaccines every year.
After recovering from typhoid illness, some people continue to carry the bacteria in their bloodstream and body organs. These are the typhoid carriers and they continue to shed the bacteria in their stool and urine. Such people are likely to suffer from typhoid fever more than once and can also spread it.
Typhoid relapse or recurrent typhoid infections are very distressing and certain preventive measure can help avoid it:
- Keep the hands clean before handling food and after using the toilet. Use sanitizers for places where water is not available. But make sure the hands are clean.
- Avoid drinking contaminated water, as it is a major reason for relapse and spread of typhoid fever, especially in the places where typhoid fever is endemic.
- Avoid eating raw food and vegetables or wash them properly with clean water before consuming.
- Either, clean them thoroughly or completely avoid the fruits and vegetable which cannot be peeled.
- Avoid food stored for long or kept in open. It might be contaminated. Eat fresh, hot, homemade food to prevent the recurrence.
- Complete the entire antibiotic course advised by the doctor. This would even help you prevent the infection from spreading to others.
Also, avoid preparing food or handling food until you are told by the doctor that you are no longer contagious.
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