What Causes Typhoid Fever?

What causes typhoid fever?

Typhoid fever is contracted by drinking or eating the bacteria in contaminated food or water.

People with acute illness can contaminate the surrounding water supply through stool, which contains a high concentration of the bacteria. Contamination of the water supply can, in turn, taint the food supply. The bacteria can survive for weeks in water or dried sewage.

About 3%-5% of people become carriers of the bacteria after the acute illness. Others suffer a very mild illness that goes unrecognized. These people may become long-term carriers of the bacteria – even though they have no symptoms – and be the source of new outbreaks of typhoid fever for many years.

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