Typhus or typhoid fever, or often called typhoid, is one of the diseases that are often experienced by the people of Indonesia. Unfortunately there are still many people who think that typhoid and typhus are the same disease. Yes, the mention of typhus and typhoid which is very similar makes many people often think that they are the same disease. In fact, the cause of typhus and typhoid aka typhoid fever is different.
What is typhoid and what is the cause?
Typhus is an infection caused by several types of Rickettsia typhi or R. prowazekii bacteria. These bacteria can be carried by ectoparasites such as fleas, mites and ticks, then infect humans. Ectoparasites are often found in animals such as rats, cats and squirrels. Some people can also bring them from their clothes, bed sheets, skin or hair.
Typhoid-causing bacteria cannot be transmitted from one person to another such as a cold or cold. There are four types of typhoid, and each type is caused by bacteria and different modes of transmission. Some types of typhus depend on the source of the bacteria that infects it, are:
- Thypus epidemic is caused by bacterium Rickettsia prowazeki which is transmitted by the bite of head lice on the human body. This type of disease can cause serious illness and even death.
- Endemic thypus or murine typhus caused by the bacterium Rickettsia typhi, which is transmitted by flea infestation in mice. This disease is similar to the thypus epidemic, but has typhoid symptoms that are milder and rarely cause death.
- Scrub typhus is caused by Orientia tsutsugamushi, transmitted by the bite of larval mites that live in rodents. This disease can attack humans at a mild to severe level.
- Spotted fever or a fever accompanied by red spots on the skin is spread by the bite of tick animals infected with the Rickettsia group bacteria.
This disease can be found all over the world. However, countries that are densely populated with poor santri are at higher risk of developing this disease outbreak.
How can bacteria cause typhus?
The bacteria that cause endemic typhus, Rickettsia prowazekki, is transmitted by human head lice. Bacteria can grow in the stomach and intestines of fleas. You can get infected with typhoid-causing bacteria when scratching or touching a wound after being bitten by fleas. The risk of infection with the typhoid epidemic is more easily transmitted in densely populated refugee camps and poor levels of cleanliness.
Not only that, this infection is also more experienced in the rainy season and when clothes that are filled with fleas are not washed and used alternately. This is an optimal condition for the spread of disease.
In endemic cases caused by the bacterium Rickettsia typhi, transmission of this disease occurs when you breathe air infected with bacteria that cause typhus. For example, when you clean an old building that is dusty and mostly inhabited by mice infected with fleas.
While your risk of developing thypus scrubs increases in the dry season, when fleas and mites are actively breeding in bushes or grasslands.
The way the bacteria transmit this disease to each person varies depending on the type. In general, you can get typhus infection by bacterial bites, mites, or ticks. In some cases, you can also be infected with typhoid-causing bacteria if you breathe dust that has been contaminated with flea feces.
Tipes and typhus are two different diseases
Having a very similar mention, many people assume that typhoid and typhus are the same disease. Even though this is not the case. Typhoid is caused by Salmonella typhi bacteria found in feces or animal feces. This bacterium infects the digestive tract because the sufferer consumes contaminated food or drink.
Quoted from Detik's page, Paul Harijanto, SpPD-KPTI, an infectious disease expert from Bethesda Hospital, Tomohon, North Sulawesi, said that typhus is a disease that is not common in Indonesia.
The mention of typhus or typhoid by lay people who refer to typhoid fever, is actually just to make it easier. I don't know since when this mistake began to occur and was understood. But certainly, this mistake has become a kind of agreement among the people in general. So, if someone has typhus, then what is meant is typhoid fever.
In fact, these two diseases are clearly different. This difference lies in the type of bacteria that triggers infection. Sometimes this disease is also called Rickettsia disease.
Who is at high risk of typhus?
This disease can affect people of all ages, income levels, social levels, and the environment. However, the risk of this disease will increase if you:
- Has a weak immune system, such as people with HIV /ADIS, currently undergoing chemotherapy, babies and the elderly.
- Experience prolonged direct skin contact with an infected person. However, the potential for transmission of this disease is through a short handshake or hug, including small.
- Share the same item, such as towels, bed sheets, or clothes with an infected person.
- Make direct contact with animals infected with typhoid-causing bacteria
- Travel to an endemic area of this disease.
There may be several risk factors for typhus that are not mentioned above. If you are concerned about other risk factors for typhus, please consult your doctor for more information.
What are the symptoms of typhus to watch out for?
Typhus symptoms usually develop 1-2 weeks after exposure and can develop from mild to severe. The most common typhus symptoms include:
- High fever, usually around 40 degrees Celsius
- Nausea or vomiting
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Dry cough
- Stomach pain
- Joint and muscle pain
- Back pain
- Feel unwell
Symptoms of other typhus may also appear rashes and dark spots such as symptoms of scabies in the area of the body that has been bitten by fleas. This rash may also spread throughout the body such as the face, palms, or legs.
If you have typhoid signs or symptoms such as those listed above or if there are other things you want to ask about this disease, don't hesitate to consult a doctor. Every body functions differently from one another. Always discuss with your doctor to get the best solution for your condition.
How to diagnose typhus?
Symptoms of typhus are often similar to the symptoms of other diseases. Not infrequently, this makes this disease difficult for diagnosis. But doctors will usually do a blood test or skin biopsy to determine the type of bacteria that causes typhus. Diagnosis can also be done with a blood test using a serological method taken two weeks separately. This blood test serves to detect the patient's immune system response to his patient.
Sometimes, doctors can also expect someone to have a typical typhus if the consultation session is known if the patient has just traveled to an endemic or high-risk area. Especially if the doctor also finds a history of bites from fleas, mites, or ticks in the patient's body.
What are typhus drugs?
This disease can be treated with antibiotics. One typhus drug that doctors often prescribe is tetracycline antibiotics such as doxycycline. Treatment using this antibiotic is usually started before the blood test results or biopsy is known.
This typhus drug works by stopping the growth of infectious bacteria. This drug does not work for viral infections (such as colds, flu). Inappropriate, excessive or unnecessary use of antibiotics can affect the effectiveness of the drug.
Take typhus according to your doctor's advice, usually once a day with or without food. Drink plenty of water when using typhus medication unless the doctor's recommendations are different.
The dosage of typhus and the duration of treatment will depend on your health condition and response to treatment. For children, the dosage of typhus can also be based on body weight.
Antibiotics work well when the amount of medicine in your body remains constant. So, use this typhus drug with approximately the same interval. Most people begin to feel better in 48 hours (2 days) after starting treatment. However, it is important to continue using this medication until the prescription is exhausted, even if you feel typhus symptoms disappear after a few days.
Stopping the drug too quickly can make further bacteria develop, which eventually returns to infection. Tell your doctor if your condition does not improve or even worse. Follow the rules given by a doctor or pharmacist before starting treatment. If you have questions, consult your doctor or pharmacist.
Your doctor may prescribe other drugs to relieve symptoms such as paracetamol to reduce fever.
In severe cases, people infected with this disease may need to be hospitalized. The doctor will determine the best treatment that suits your condition. It should be understood that the sooner this disease is diagnosed, the recovery process will also be faster.
Typhoid drugs are not just antibiotics
Antibiotics are used as typhus drugs to kill Rickettsia bacteria. However, actually to be able to recover quickly from this disease, not only antibiotics are the mainstay. You also have to eat and drink that is healthy and safe for you.
Foods that are safe to consume
- Foods that are cooked until they are fully cooked
- Fruits and vegetables that are washed with clean water or you peel yourself
- Pasteurized dairy products
- Soft, soft, and fry foods to make it easy for you to eat
- Nutritious and highly nutritious foods to speed up the recovery process
Foods that are not safe for consumption
- Foods that are served at room temperature
- Food from roadside stalls
- Raw or undercooked eggs
- Raw or undercooked meat or fish
- Fruit and vegetables that are not washed or not peeled
- Spices from fresh ingredients
- Salad, karedok, or fresh vegetables (the point is un cooked raw vegetables)
- Unpasteurized milk products
- Bushmeat (monkey meat, bats and other wild animals)
- High-fat foods such as coconut milk, fried foods, junk food, and so on.
Drinks that are safe for consumption
- Sealed bottled drinks (which are carbonated safer)
- Water that is boiled, filtered or processed first
- Ice made in bottles or infection-free water
- Bottle and seal carbonated drinks, and sports drinks
- Coffee or hot tea
- Pasteurized milk
Drinks that are not safe for consumption
- Tap or well water
- Ice made from tap or well water
- Water made with well water or taps
- Popsicle or popsicle
- unpasteurized milk
What complications might occur?
Just like other diseases, this disease requires fast and appropriate treatment. When an infected person is allowed to go on without adequate medical treatment, serious complications can surface. Some complications that might occur include:
- Hepatitis aka liver inflammation
- Digestive bleeding
- Hypovolemia or decreased blood fluid volume
How to prevent typhus?
If typhoid can be prevented by giving vaccinations, it's another story with this one disease. After the second world war ended, vaccination for this disease was no longer produced. Even so, you don't worry. There are a number of simple ways you can do to reduce the risk of getting this disease, including:
- Use insect repellent drugs. Always provide insecticide every time you want to travel to open places, such as camping, mountain climbing, and so on. If necessary, use long sleeves and trousers. This is done to reduce the risk of tick and mite bites.
- Wash hands. Be diligent in washing your hands every time you want to start an activity or after being active. Use antiseptic soap to ensure the cleanliness of your hands.
- Wash all clothes and bed linen. Use hot water and soap to wash all clothes, towels and bed sheets, or if necessary boil to kill mites that are still left behind.
- Let the mites die of starvation. For objects that cannot be washed, you can put the objects in a sealed plastic bag and place it in a place that is rarely reached for several weeks. Mites will die within a few days when left without food.
- Avoid contact. This disease can be transmitted through physical contact, eating to avoid direct contact with patients for a long time. Also, avoid the habit of using personal items such as towels that can transmit this disease.
- Clean the entire room at home. Using a vacuum cleaner, clean all the carpets and furniture inside the house. Don't forget, use a face mask when cleaning the area. This is done so that you do not breathe dust contaminated by rodent feces.
- Consult a doctor. Immediately check your health after visiting an endemic area where the disease is endemic. Even if you don't have typhus symptoms, it's best to keep checking. Because in many cases, new typhus symptoms appear after a few weeks of infection.
Preventing transmission of typhus needs high discipline. The above methods must be carried out at the time before starting treatment with treatment because if no preventive measures are taken, it will be very contagious and do not rule out the possibility of re-infection in patients who have recovered.
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