Do you ensure to follow proper hygiene and sanitary conditions for your baby? Think again, as typhoid is generally caused by unsanitary conditions. Typhoid is a feverish disease caused by a bacterium salmonella typhi (1). You need to be extra careful if your child shows symptoms of typhoid, as untreated cases can lead to fatal consequences. Eradication of typhoid is complete in most developed countries. However, the fever remains a health scare, especially for infants in developing and underdeveloped countries.
Typhoid In Babies – Facts and Causes:
While typhoid can be dangerous, it is important you know the factors causing the disease. Here are some of the causes:
- Typhoid is generally transmitted by food and water just like cholera; It is a contagious disease that spreads easily.
- Wash your and your child’s hands frequently, so that typhoid bacillus is not transferred through water or food.
- Washing hands are essential so that it does not spread via contaminated hands.
[ Read: Chicken Pox In Babies ]
Symptoms Of Typhoid In Babies:
In most cases, infants suffering from typhoid may fall sick suddenly. So he may not display various symptoms. The typhoid symptoms in babies usually occur after three to four weeks since your child contracted the bacterial infection. Here is a list of the common symptoms of typhoid (2):
In The First Week:
Your infant may suffer from a low-grade fever. It can gradually go up to 103 or 104 degree F. Your child may also suffer from diarrhea, rashes on the body or a dry cough. Your infant may also suffer from body pain, headaches, lack of appetite, weakness, drowsiness and stomachache. As your infant is too young to express these discomforts, he may cry incessantly.
In The Second Week:
If your infant has not got any treatment during the first week his condition may be worse (3). Your infant may continue to have a high fever, suffer from diarrhea or severe constipation. Your infant can also start losing a lot of weight. Your infant’s abdomen area may look distended.
In The Third Week:
The stage can create various health complications in infants. It can also be life-threatening in some cases. Your infant may suffer from severe drowsiness and exhaustion. He may be in the typhoid state if he is sleeping a lot or lying down drowsily (4).
[ Read: Dehydration In Infants ]
Diagnosis Of Typhoid:
Proper diagnosis on time is essential to protect your little one from any possible dangers. Left undiagnosed for long, typhoid can result in permanent hair loss, long-term organ failure, or death.
- Watch out for symptoms; if your child is feverish for more than a week, and exhibits little to no appreciate, and seems too sleepy or drained every day, You need to inform the doctor about the symptoms.
- Doctors generally ask for stool and blood test, culturing and may be bone marrow in rare cases.
- Blood examination helps find traces of antibodies used for diagnosis.
[ Read: Viral Fever In Infants ]
What Are The Complications A Typhoid Can Cause?
A typhoid can trigger other health complications like (5):
- Infections in the gall bladder or kidney
- Pancreatitis or inflammation in the pancreas
- Cholecystitis or inflammation in the gall bladder
- Myocarditis or inflammation in the heart muscles
- Endocarditis or inflammation in the lining and valves of the heart
- Meningitis or infection and inflammation in the membranes and the fluids around the brain and spinal cord
Proper treatment procedures shall begin once the diagnosis is over and the disease have been confirmed.
- Plenty of antibiotics are available; they will be suggested by your healthcare provider after monitoring the symptoms.
- Give your child the suggested antibiotics, exactly as instructed by the doctor.
- Monitor the effect of the medicine in your baby for few days till her condition is stable.
- Typhoid patients needs a lot of rest and light, healthy food; make sure the recuperation period is ideal
- Maintain good hygiene standards to ensure the disease does not reoccur.
[ Read: Flu In Babies ]
Typhoid Vaccine For Babies:
Proper vaccine shall protect your baby from infections caused by Salmonella typhi. Typhoid is very common in countries like Southeast Asia, India, and Papua New Guinea. Your baby would be at a greater risk of contracting the disease, if you are travelling to these countries. Vaccine for typhoid is mainly of two types:
- Vaccine That Is Injected – This vaccine is injected in children 2 years of age or in older children as well.
- Vaccine That Is Given Orally – Vivotif oral or the oral vaccine is given in children 6 years or above.
Both the vaccines mentioned above offer protection for 3 years. So, make sure the last vaccine you give lasts till your vacation in the other country. You must opt to re-vaccinate your child otherwise.
[ Read: Hay Fever In Babies ]
As the saying goes, prevention is always the best choice, when it comes to fighting diseases. Vaccination offers the best protection against typhoid. Other precautionary measures you can take are:
- Ensure clean drinking for your baby. Boil it to kill germs.
- Breastfeeding your baby till 2 years help developing strong immune system.
- If you baby has started taken solids, make sure you wash vegetables and fruits thoroughly.
- Ensure healthy diet for your baby.
- Keep your house clean and wash hands before eating.
- Make sure foods are well cooked.
- Ask anyone who visits your home to wash their hands.
We understand that it must be heartbreaking for you to see your child suffering. The best way to avoid Typhoid is to get her vaccinated on time and maintain the healthy hygiene standards. If your child does exhibit typhoid symptoms, take her to the doctor immediately. Mothers, do let us know what you do to ensure good health of your little one in the comment section below.
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