This is about the disease
typhoid fever. Typhus is an unrelated disease with a similar name.
Typhoid fever is an illness caused
by the bacterium Salmonella typhi. Very common worldwide, it is transmitted
by food or water contaminated with feces from an infected person. After
infection, symptoms include a high fever from 103° to 104°F (39° to 40°C),
weakness, headaches, lack of appetite, severe diarrhea, stomach pains, and
a rash of flat, rose-colored spots. Extreme symptoms such as intestinal
perforation, delusions, and confusion also are possible. Typhoid fever can
be fatal. Antibiotics, such as ampicillin, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole,
and ciprofloxacin are commonly used in treating typhoid fever.
A person may become an
asymptomatic carrier of typhoid fever, suffering no symptoms, but capable
of infecting others. In 1907, Mary Mallon (known as "Typhoid
Mary") became the first American carrier to be identified and traced.
According to the Centers for Disease Control approximately 5% of people who
contract typhoid continue to carry the disease after they recover.
When untreated, typhoid fever
persists for three weeks to a month. Death occurs in between 10% and 30% of
untreated cases. Vaccines for typhoid fever are available and are advised
for persons traveling in regions where the disease is common (especially
Asia, Africa, and Latin America).
Typhoid fever has claimed the
lives of several famous people, including Franz Schubert, Mark Hanna, Wilbur
Wright, Leland Stanford, Jr., and the British prince consort Albert of