What are the Effects of Typhoid?

Laura M. Sands

As a multisystemic illness, the effects of typhoid can include kidney failure and internal bleeding, as well as inflammation and perforation of the intestines. Commonly characterized by diarrhea and an unusually high fever, typhoid disease can also cause changes in mood, extreme fatigue and may even result in hallucinations. The symptoms of bacterial infections like this can be treated if detected early enough, but the effects of the disease tend to eventually return if not properly treated after an initial diagnosis.

Symptoms of typhoid include high fever.
Symptoms of typhoid include high fever.

Also known as enteric fever, dangerous typhoid effects are caused by Salmonella bacteria present in an infected person’s intestines and blood. Highly contagious, it is passed to others by infected persons as well as carriers who shed the bacteria via fecal matter. People around the world are susceptible to it if proper hygiene habits are not routinely practiced. In particular, typhoid fever is spread through food and water, whereby it enters a person’s bloodstream via the intestinal tract. Once a person becomes infected, typhoid can easily spread throughout the body and affect the spleen, lymph nodes, liver and gallbladder.

Frequent hand washing reduces the risks of transmitting typhoid.
Frequent hand washing reduces the risks of transmitting typhoid.

In addition to a high fever and fatigue, the effects of typhoid also produce skin rash, headache and abdominal pains. Some people also experience extreme mental confusion, nosebleeds and uncomfortable mood changes. Often, people with typhoid fever also produce bloody stools.

Typhoid may cause abdominal pain.
Typhoid may cause abdominal pain.

Treatment for the effects of typhoid generally includes antibiotics, rest and a replenishing of fluids. Within a few weeks, symptoms do disappear, but they may only subside and then reoccur later if treatment regimens are not strictly followed. Further complications from inadequate treatment may also include gastrointestinal hemorrhaging, inflamed kidneys or complete kidney failure. It is also possible that a person can continue to carry typhoid in her or his stool and continue to spread it to others for several years without knowing that the infection still exists.

Typhoid can spread to an infected person's liver and gallbladder.
Typhoid can spread to an infected person's liver and gallbladder.

As a highly contagious infection, the effects of typhoid may be avoided by vaccination as well as by frequent hand washing and avoiding contaminated water and food sources. As high fever, stomach pain, loss of appetite and diarrhea are early signs of the illness, experts recommend that medical treatment be sought immediately upon experiencing these to avoid further complications or spread of the infection. With antibiotics, symptoms begin to subside within a few days. Without proper treatment, however, the effects of typhoid can last for several months. Complications stemming from a lack of quality treatment can also result in death.

Some individuals suffering from typhoid fever may require their gallbladders to be removed.
Some individuals suffering from typhoid fever may require their gallbladders to be removed.
Typhoid can lead to kidney failure.
Typhoid can lead to kidney failure.

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Discussion Comments


I had typhoid fever two months ago. I still feel weak and am having headaches and I feel feverish even though I have a normal body temperature.


I was diagnosed with typhoid fever last summer. I was rushed to the hospital with high fever, my eyes are irritated when I see light and was severely vomiting. After the treatment I noticed that I developed mood swing and my memorization performance became a mediocre. Up until now, I don't if that is the side effect of the typhoid fever. Could you please give me an explanation to this? Thank you.


@ysmina-- I think what you had is called acute typhoid fever right? When it's still in the initial stages?

What is most scary is when typhoid develops into complicated typhoid because this is when really dangerous symptoms and effects like bloody stool, high blood pressure, delirium and organ failure show up. The damage becomes harder and harder to reverse at this stage.

I wish in this day and age, this illness no longer existed. But I read that 12 million people in the world get infected with typhoid fever every year!


After a trip to Asia last year, I started feeling very tired and couldn't eat. After a few days, I also started coughing and had a 102 degrees temperature and even fever reducers didn't help. I went to the emergency room where they took a blood sample and typhoid fever was diagnosed.

I spent the night at the hospital where they gave me a saline IV with antibiotics. I went home the next day but continued taking strong antibiotics for one week. At the end of the week, I went back to the hospital for another blood draw to make sure that the bacteria was gone.

It was pretty scary for me but thankfully, my treatment went well and symptoms didn't reappear. I was feeling very nervous though because I didn't want my family to get infected. I constantly washed my hands and did not cook anything for other people during my treatment.


I'm planning a trip to Africa and I'm told that I need to have either a typhoid vaccination or take typhoid pills before I go.

Since I'm going to be staying at a resort there, I assumed that all this wasn't necessary. But after reading a little bit about typhoid and how common it is in Africa, I've decided to take the tablets.

I know that there have been some cases of salmonella infections in the US and some people died of it despite being treated at the hospital. I've had gastritis and bacterial infections from food poisoning before and I how horrible it is to deal with stomach cramps, diarrhea, fever and dehydration all at once.

I've been told that typhoid tablets have little to no side effects and are protective for five years. I'm so glad that this is available, I'm going to start taking it next week.

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