Protect your child from Typhoid this rainy season!!



Enjoy the rains!!

Rainy season bring the cravings of fried delicacies which is further strengthened by the nice aroma of street food.  It becomes hard to completely avoid the outside food sometimes. It is common to catch typhoid in the rainy season. Typhoid   is a serious systemic infection caused by enteric pathogen Salmonella typhi. 

It is spread by the consumption  of food or water contaminated with feces from a person infected with Salmonella typhi. Low hygiene and poor sanitation are the main reasons for the spread of Typhoid.

The common symptoms of Typhoid are often confused with the symptoms of Malaria, Dengue fever or Influenza diseases. Patient suffer from fever as high as 40 degree centigrade (104 degree Fahrenheit), excessive sweating, weakness, loss of appetite, abdominal discomfort such as constipation (in adults) and diarrhea (in young children). Rose spots  appear on the chest of a patient with typhoid fever, indicating the infection by the bacterium Salmonella Salmonellatyphi typhi. Typhoid, if left untreated, can become serious  and lead to  intestinal bleeding and infection of the brain, gall bladder, heart and bones. It can also cause death.

As per WHO conservative calculation, the annual global cases of typhoid fever are 21 million, out of which 1–4%  patients die. Alarmingly,  90% of these deaths occur in Asia. Children, under 5 years of age, are mostly affected with Typhoid. Timely diagnosis of Typhoid is difficult, because of its confusing symptoms. This poses a challenge in treatment, on the correct stage of the disease, with available antibiotics. Emergence of Multi Drug Resistant  S. typhi, further makes the  treatment difficult and, give rise to serious complications. This also increases the cost of treatment due to hospitalizations. Hence, prevention becomes a better choice than cure, in case of Typhoid.

Improving the hygiene and living conditions in the developing world, is one way to stop the spread of Typhoid. Another approachable path to prevent Typhoid, is vaccination. Routine Immunization of school-age and/or preschool-age children, is recommended by WHO  in areas, where typhoid fever in these age groups is shown to be a significant public health problem.  The latest Vi conjugate vaccine can be safely given to infants, older than 6 months along with routine childhood vaccines. It provides longer lasting immunity. After looking at all the scenarios, it is a wise decision to use the available vaccines; which are safe, efficient and affordable.