Bengaluru: Along with the advent of the monsoon comes a spike in typhoid cases. On Sunday morning, twenty-nine-year-old Chikla Bhuyan suddenly got high fever and was admitted to Lifeline hospital for suspected typhoid. The patient is now on continuous drips and is under observation.
Fortunately for Chikla, her temperature is now under control and she might be discharged on Monday evening. As the rains increase in intensity, the city seems to be in the grip of another dreaded water-borne disease. “There is a rise in the incidence of typhoid cases in the city because of water contamination. Typhoid spreads from contaminated faeces into water or food. It spreads among human beings through cooks and food handlers, restaurants, hotels and also through wedding functions,” explains Dr L Sreenivasa Murthy, Medical Director, Nightingales’ Home Health Services.
The incubation period for typhoid fever can vary from 3 days to 1 month. There are many patients who get typhoid a month after contracting the virus. “On Monday itself, out of thirty fever cases, we have four cases of typhoid. It is crucial to get a blood culture to detect typhoid,” advises Dr Manjunath, Consultant physician, Manipal Hospitals.
The habit of binge eating and heavy dependence on ‘outside’ food is the main reason for so many members of the public contracting typhoid. “Citizens need to cut down on eating at hotels and restaurants, especially during this season. Also during this time, ‘hand hygiene’ should be maintained,” advises Dr Manjunath.
According to experts, prevention is the only cure as vaccination does not provide hundred per cent immunity. “The vaccinations that are available give protection of 6 months to 2 years and the immunity is not hundred per cent. So, personal hygiene is the only answer. To avoid incidence, people should consume fresh, boiled food, and drink only boiled water,” concludes Dr Sreenivasa.
Wait for WIDAL
As fears of contracting typhoid spread, and as a few symptoms surface, many members of the public are going ahead with the WIDAL test, which often show the patient positive for Typhoid. “This test should only be done after a week and if the patient continues to have fever for more than a week. Only then should they go ahead with the test as it is a very expensive test and works after one week only,” advises Dr Sreenivasa. According to experts, blood culture is the way to detect typhoid if done after a few days of fever.