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Acute infectious disease resembling typhus (and distinguished from it only in the 19th century). Salmonella typhi, usually ingested in food or water, multiplies in the intestinal wall and then enters the bloodstream, causing septicemia. Symptoms begin with headache, aching, and restlessness. High fever gradually develops, with delirium. A rash appears on the trunk. The sites where the bacilli multiplied become inflamed and may ulcerate, leading to intestinal bleeding or peritonitis. Patients become exhausted and emaciated; up to 25% die if not treated. Antibiotic treatment is effective. Patients can carry typhoid for weeks to months or years. Carriers can contaminate the food they handle. Prevention depends mainly on water and sewage treatment and excluding carriers from food-handling jobs.
Variants of TYPHOID
typhoid or typhoid fever
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on typhoid, visit Britannica.com.