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Paratyphoid fever – Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

Paratyphoid fever. also called

Enteric fever

, is a group of enteric illness which is caused by a bacterium Salmonella paratyphi. The paratyphoid fever is also more prominent in less- developed countries, where there are problems of unsafe drinking water, flooding and inadequate sewage disposal.

Means of transmission of Salmonella bacterium is through contaminated water or food. Hygiene, clean water and good sanitary conditions can prevent the spread of paratyphoid bacteria.

Symptoms of Paratyphoid:

The typical symptoms of fever caused by Salmonella paratyphi are –

  • Moderate fever with headache
  • Malaise
  • Lack of appetite
  • Abdominal pain
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Pink spots on abdomen.
  • Most people also experience hepatosplenomegaly, in which the spleen and liver both become enlarged.

Causes of Paratyphoid:

  • Paratyphoid is caused by bacterium Salmonella typhi.
  • There are three species of Salmonella bacterium that cause paratyphoid –
  • Salmonella paratyphi A
    Salmonella paratyphi B
    Salmonella paratyphi C

  • The germs passed out in faeces and urine of infected people.
  • Other people get infected after eating infected food handled by an infected person, or drinking bacteria contaminated water.
  • Once the bacteria gets inside a person’s body, it will multiply and spread from intestine into the blood.
  • Once a person is recovered, he still carries the bacteria and can get infected other people.

Treatment of Paratyphoid:

  • Paratyphoid fever is treated with several antibiotics for a period of 2 to 3 weeks. Antibiotics such as –

    trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (Bactrim, Septra), ampicillin (Amcill), amoxicillin (Amoxil, Novamoxin), cefotaxime [Claforan], chloramphenicol (Chloromycetin) and ceftriaxone (Rocephin)

    can be used.

  • Proper bed rest and patients need careful monitoring.
  • Good nutrition.
  • Severely infected patients will require fluid replacement or blood transfusions.
  • Proper hygiene should be practiced for prevention of the disease.

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