Typhoid and Paratyphoid Fever

Typhoid and paratyphoid fevers are diseases affecting the whole body and are caused by the bacteria Salmonella Typhi and Salmonella Paratyphi, respectively. In Europe, the disease is mainly associated with travel to endemic countries outside of the EU/EEA.

Humans are the only hosts and  can carry the bacteria in their intestines for a long time and transmit it to others. 

Symptoms take 1-2 weeks to appear and include 

  • Sustained fever
  • headache
  • malaise
  • cough
  • skin rash
  • enlarged spleen or liver
  • diarrhoea or constipation

Perforation of the intestines and bleeding can occur, which can lead to infections in all organs. 

The untreated mortality rate is around 10%, but it has been greatly reduced by antibiotics. Antibiotic resistance is however becoming a problem, particularly in Salmonella Typhi.

The best way to prevent the disease is vaccination, which is currently only available for typhoid fever, together with proper personal and food hygiene.