Typhoid fever means different thing to different people. In NYSC camp Nasarawa state where over 2000 Nigerians are gathered, I decided to take a stroll round the camp to seek the opinion of corp members on the meaning, causes, symptoms, tests and treatments.
Read their comments below:
Yinka from Osun defined: “typhoid fever as an advanced form of malaria. It is a form of resistant malaria. If you treat malaria and your are not getting better, treat for typhoid fever and you will be better” she said.
Promise from Delta said: “Typhoid fever is caused by contaminated water and food but mainly water. Whenever I go to our family clinic for test(widal test), they normally tell me i have typhoid fever and malaria before giving me artesunate and ampiclox and i get better”
Denebo from Delta: “typhoid fever is a disease caused by change of environment, dirty water and food. Its major symptom is abdominal pain. Typhoid fever is the senior brother of malaria”. He posited.
Dorishelby from Plateau State: “typhoid is a bacteria infection mostly gotten from water.To avoid typhoid it good to keep the environment clean. Symptoms include: weakness, stomach pain and headache. It is treated with antibiotics”.
Chioma from Enugu: “tyhoid is caused by dirty and infected foods. I don’t know much about the treatment but i know if you get to the hospital you will be tested and treated.”
Victoria from Anambra: ” typhoid is a sickness caused by bacteria and could contacted usage of dirty water. Publicly prepared food can caused typhoid.Symptoms are headache, stomach pain, vomiting, and stooling. Ciprofloxacin cures typhoid”.
Evans from Imo: “When i was in 200level,I was very sick, I took antimalarial medications for weeks I didnt get better, immediately i started taking drugs for typhoid, I got better”.
Nnambike from Enugu: I dont know much about typhoid but I know the symptoms are extreme fever, cold, sweating and shivering”.
Rukuyya from Kaduna: typhoid is caused by drinking dirty water. It is treated with antibiotics. Drinking clean water can help prevent typhoid”.
Umar from Kaduna: typhoid is caused by salmonella typhi located in dirty water and other unhygienic places. The symptoms and signs are headache, vomitting, nausea, fever, dizziness. It is treated with amoxicillin, paracetamol, ciprofloxacin.”
Sodiq Ojeniyi from Oyo: “typhoid is not good. If someone gets the fever and does not know on time, it can kill the person. It affects the intestines. The symptoms of typhoid is constant headache. It is treated in the hospital with drips, amoxicillin and ciprotab. In my tribe yoruba,we treat it with “agbo” made up of unripe pawpaw soaked in “omi ogi” (pap water). The concoction is taken 2 to 3 times a day and after sometime the person gets better. Typhoid is a water- borne disease”.
Tina from Bayelsa: To me, typhoid is a deadly disease that can kill if not taken of peoperly. It is very hard to treat. It goes for a while and comes back again. My church doctor told us to take the disease serious. It comes with severe headache. It is diagnosed with blood tests. The last time I had typhoid, I was treated with drips, injections through the veins. I know a woman that treat it with agbo made from ripe pineapple”.
Abibu from Katsina: ” I don’t know much about typhoid, i have never had typhoid before or my relatives but i heard it is a very deadly disease”.
Barakah from Kwara: “One thing is that it can be treated. It sometimes have malaria symptoms so there is need to do blood tests to confirm”.
Joseph from Benue: “When typhoid is too much in your body, it can affect your brain and make you mad. I know somebody it affected. She was treated with native medicine. It is caused by dirty water and foods.”
Dorcas from Edo: “typhoid is caused by dirty water.It is also caused by change of environment. Tested with blood called widal test. Treatment depends on the titre value. It is treated by flushing it out with drip, ciprotab 500mg twice a day for 1 week. Taking clean water can prevent typhoid fever”.
Ekekwe from Abia: “typhoid is the drinking of unclean water and food. Symptoms are diarrhoea, temporary blindness, high temperature. I had it in JSS 2 and it was treated with injections”.
Zafirah from Kogi: “most people don’t really go for test, they just assume they have typhoid fever”.
Umar from Bornu: ” the symptoms of typhoid fever are stooling, weight loss, and very high temperature.”
Muhammed from Adamawa: ” the symptoms of typhoid fever are purging, body pains, headaches, vomiting, and stomach pains”.
Dr Adesegun Oluwaseyitan from Ogun State gives his expert opinion.
“Typhoid fever is a gastrointestinal infection caused by a microorganism called Salmonella typhi. It is a prevalent infective disease in Nigeria known to be worse in children but can also present with life threatening morbidities in adults.
Poor hygiene, unhygienic sources of water and contaminated foods puts one at risk of typhoid fever.
The organism invades the intestinal mucusa, localises to the ileal lymphoid tissues and causes destruction of the instestinal lining impairing the normal absorptive functions with both gastrointestinal and systemic complications.
Symptoms include passage of loose stool, (diarrhoea), high grade fever, nausea,vomiting and malaise.
The gold standard test for typhoid remains blood culture especially in the first week. There is also the stool culture and urine culture in the second and third week respectively.
The widal test can be used as a screening tool, however its diagnostic usefulness diminishes in the presence of more sensitive and specific tests as listed above.It is now outdated.
The treatment: quinolones such as ciprofloxacin remains the first line. Macrolides such erythromycin/azithromycin and aminoglycosides such as gentamycin can also be used adjunct. Ceftriaxone is also very useful.
Supportive fluid therapy is very important.
Complications of typhoid are gut perforations, dehydration, and blood infections.
Prevention: clean sources of water and food and good personal hygiene”.
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