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Why am I suffering from recurrent episodes of typhoid?

Answered by: Dr Monica Mahajan

Associate Director, Internal Medicine, Max Hospital, New Delhi

Q. I am a 29 years old male, who frequently suffers from typhoid. In last few years, I usually got typhoid after every few months. I have taken vaccine but it was not effective. I am in doubt that my typhoid is not treated completely. Usually, the doctor gave medicine for 5 to 7 days after reviewing blood test report, which was positive. After that, I became normal with very mild pain in abdomen and fever around 99.2 degrees Fahrenheit. Now, I am in doubt that I might get typhoid again. Earlier during typhoid I experienced weakness but able to do almost every work. But this time, I even can't sit more than half an hour. After taking medicine for 14 days, I started walking and working. I guess that I should take typhoid medicine for about a month. My doctor always told me that I am normal and all right and I am experiencing problems due to weakness. I am unable to explain my problems to the doctor due to hesitation.

A.  Generally the required treatment for typhoid is 10-14 days of appropriate antibiotics unless the infection is severe wherein longer treatment would be required. The typhoid vaccine is not 100% efficacious. It only protects against typhoid up to 75% in most data. Again, it has no protective role for paratyphoid.

Recurrence of typhoid would depend on either repeated exposure to contaminated food and water or if there is a person who is a typhoid carrier and harbours the bacteria in the body. If you eat outside food frequently, avoid salads and raw foods. Make sure the drinking water is hygienic. A blood culture / stool culture should be done. Contact any Government / private hospital in your locality where an experienced doctor can certainly help you.

Do not hesitate to voice your concerns / doubts, once he examines you so that he can explain the problem to you. It would be a good idea to make a list of your symptoms and reports / treatment taken so far on a piece of paper and carry that along. Also measure your temperature and keep a weight chart. Discuss this with the doctor concerned. Take a vitamin supplement for a few months to boost your immunity.

A.  Generally the required treatment for typhoid is 10-14 days of appropriate antibiotics unless the infection is severe wherein longer treatment would be required. The typhoid vaccine is not 100% efficacious. It only protects against typhoid up to 75% in most data. Again, it has no protective role for paratyphoid.

Recurrence of typhoid would depend on either repeated exposure to contaminated food and water or if there is a person who is a typhoid carrier and harbours the bacteria in the body. If you eat outside food frequently, avoid salads and raw foods. Make sure the drinking water is hygienic. A blood culture / stool culture should be done. Contact any Government / private hospital in your locality where an experienced doctor can certainly help you.

Do not hesitate to voice your concerns / doubts, once he examines you so that he can explain the problem to you. It would be a good idea to make a list of your symptoms and reports / treatment taken so far on a piece of paper and carry that along. Also measure your temperature and keep a weight chart. Discuss this with the doctor concerned. Take a vitamin supplement for a few months to boost your immunity.

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