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Typhoid fever - Symptoms of typhoid fever

NHS Choices Medical Reference

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The symptoms of typhoid fever usually develop one or two weeks after a person becomes infected with the Salmonella typhi bacteria.

With treatment, the symptoms of typhoid fever should quickly improve within three to five days.

If typhoid fever is not treated, the condition usually gets worse over a few weeks and there's a significant risk that life-threatening complications of typhoid fever may develop. Without treatment, it can take weeks or even months to fully recover and symptoms can return.

Common symptoms

Common symptoms of typhoid fever can include:

Seeking medical advice

You should see your GP as soon as possible if you have symptoms of typhoid fever (even if you have been vaccinated against it), particularly if you have recently returned from travelling abroad.

It is unlikely that your symptoms are caused by typhoid fever, but it's best to get them checked out in case you need treatment.

If you become ill while travelling abroad, you can get help by:

  • contacting a representative of the travel company you booked with
  • contacting your travel insurer
  • contacting the British consulate in the area you are visiting or, if you are feeling very ill, the local emergency services

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) provides travel advice by country, and their website has the contact details of all the British consulates and embassies in foreign countries.

Before you travel, it is a good idea to make a list of relevant contact details and telephone numbers in case of an emergency.

Bacteria

Bacteria are tiny, single-celled organisms that live in the body. Some can cause illness and disease and others are good for you.

Constipation

Constipation is when you pass stools less often than usual, or when you have difficulty going to the toilet because your stools are hard and small. 

Diarrhoea

Diarrhoea is the passing of frequent watery stools when you go to the toilet.

Fever

A fever is when you have a high body temperature (over 38C or 100.4F).
Medical Review: September 23, 2013
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