Typhoid fever and paratyphoid fever are serious illnesses. It occurs most often in developing countries where sanitation is poor. Typhoid fever is rare in the United States. These fevers can be fatal, especially when not treated.
Typhoid fever is caused by eating foods or drinking beverages contaminated with the Salmonella bacteria. Contamination can occur from:
- Food or drinks handled by someone who is sick or coming down with typhoid fever
- Food or drinks handled by someone who has no symptoms but carries the bacteria
- Sewage contamination of water or food
- Unpasteurized dairy products
- Poultry products left unrefrigerated
The bacteria infects the intestine. From the intestine it can enter the bloodstream and move to other organs.
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.
Last reviewedNovember 2012by Michael Woods, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.