Typhoid fever is a life-threatening illness that is usually foodborne and often associated with international travel, the main symptom of this disease is a sustained high fever that can be as high as a hundred and three to 104 degrees Fahrenheit, other symptoms may include stomach pain, diarrhea or constipation, cough, weakness or headache. If left untreated, someone infected with typhoid fever can continue to have a fever for weeks or months which can cause a variety of complications. Without treatment about 30 percent of infected people will die from these complications, typhoid fever is very uncommon in the United States, Canada, Australia, Western Europe and Japan, however it’s more common in many other countries affecting over 22 million people each year. About 1 in 20 people are asymptomatic carriers after they recover from the disease and are able to pass it on to others, in fact you may have heard of typhoid mary, a famous carrier of the typhoid bacterium who was allegedly responsible for multiple outbreaks of typhoid fever in New York City and Long Island between 1900 and 1907. Her real name was Mary Mallon born in Ireland. In 1869, Mary was a cook and due to improper hand-washing as well as lack of knowledge about the disease, 51 typhoid cases and three deaths were directly attributed to her, even though she herself was immune to the bacteria.
Typhoid fever is caused by salmonella sarah type typhi, which is a member of the entero bacteria a CA family, to give you some context, the entero bacteria CA family is the largest and also the most heterogeneous collection of medically important gram-negative rods, these bacteria are typically found in water,vegetation, soil or intestinal flora, in short they can be everywhere. Salmonella species our gram-negative, they have flagella that help them move around and they are facultative li anaerobic which means they can adapt whether oxygen is present in their environment or not. Salmonella typhi is always associated with disease in contrast to opportunistic pathogens like e coli or Klebsiella pneumoniae.