Enteric fever, often known as typhoid fever, is a potentially deadly multisystemic sickness caused predominantly by Salmonella typhi and, to a lesser degree, paratyphi A, B, and C. Both primary serotypes are typically referred to as enteric and typhoid fever.

Additionally, enteric fever may manifest itself in several ways, ranging from a severe multisystemic sickness to relatively minor instances of diarrhea with a low-grade temperature. Diffuse abdominal pain, lethargy, fever, and constipation are typical symptoms.


Symptoms and signs of enteric fever are likely to appear gradually, often one to three weeks after being exposed to the illness.

Early illness

Symptoms and signs of the enteric fever may include:

  • Headache
  • Muscle aches
  • Dry cough
  • Stomach pain
  • Rash
  • Fever
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Sweating
  • Weight loss and appetite loss
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Extremely swollen stomach

Later illness

Without treatment, you might:

  • Be exhausted and motionless in the typhoid stage, with your eyes half-closed.
  • Become delirious

Moreover, at this stage, life-threatening problems are common. Signs and symptoms may reappear in some persons up to two weeks after the fever has gone.


Your doctor will likely diagnose enteric fever based on your symptoms, travel, and medical history. Salmonella typhi is frequently found in blood culture or another bodily tissue or fluid, confirming the diagnosis.

The most accurate test for Salmonella typhi is a bone marrow culture. A tiny sample of your stool, bone marrow, blood, or urine is deposited on a specific medium for the culture. Under a microscope, the culture is examined for typhoid germs. It may perform other tests to confirm a typhoid fever infection.


Antibiotics are the only effective therapy for enteric fever.

Commonly prescribed antibiotics include:

  • Ceftriaxone
  • Azithromycin (Zithromax)
  • Ciprofloxacin (Cipro)

These medications may have adverse side effects, and long-term usage can develop antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Some people are resistant to antibiotics, necessitating the use of other treatments.

Besides, antibiotic-resistant infections are becoming increasingly widespread, particularly in developing countries, and chloramphenicol is no longer widely used to treat them. In recent years, salmonella typhi has developed resistance to trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, ciprofloxacin, or ampicillin.

Other treatments may include:

  • Surgery
  • Drinking fluids

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