The main symptom of typhoid fever is a low-grade fever that gradually increases daily. Other early symptoms include weakness, fatigue, loss of appetite, dry cough and abdominal pain, says Mayo Clinic.
If a doctor doesn't catch typhoid fever early, second-stage symptoms develop. These symptoms include a distended stomach, severe gastrointestinal issues, weight loss and continued high fever, according to Mayo Clinic. Third-stage symptoms include a motionless state, exhaustion, continued fever and delirium, warns Mayo Clinic. By the fourth week, symptoms generally improve, although it can take an additional two weeks for a patient to recover fully.
Salmonella typhi bacteria causes typhoid fever. The disease is most common in developing countries and can be particularly serious for children. It is most often spread in areas with poor sanitation, through contaminated food and water. Typhoid fever also spreads through contact with an infected person, warns Mayo Clinic.
If a patient displays symptoms of typhoid fever, particularly if he recently visited a country where it is prevalent, he should contact a doctor as soon as possible, advises Mayo Clinic. Patients often feel better within a few days with antibiotics. There is also a vaccine available for those planning to travel to infected areas, although it is not fully effective.