Symptoms and Treatment

What are the signs and symptoms of typhoid fever and paratyphoid fever?

Typhoid fever and paratyphoid fever have similar symptoms. People usually have a sustained fever that can be as high as 103–104°F (39–40°C). A sustained fever is a fever that does not come and go.

sick with stomach pains

Other symptoms of typhoid fever and paratyphoid fever include

  • Weakness
  • Stomach pain
  • Headache
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Cough
  • Loss of appetite

Some people with typhoid fever or paratyphoid fever develop a rash of flat, rose-colored spots.

What do you do if you think you have typhoid fever or paratyphoid fever?

The only way to know for sure is to have a sample of blood or stool (poop) tested for Salmonella Typhi or Salmonella Paratyphi.

If you have a fever and feel very ill, see a doctor immediately. If you are traveling outside the United States, call the U.S. consulate for a list of recommended doctors. You can also visit an accredited hospital or medical facility. Find out more about getting health care abroad.

How are typhoid fever and paratyphoid fever treated?

Antibiotics treat typhoid fever and paratyphoid fever.

Resistance to antibiotics is increasing [PDF – 516 KB] in the bacteria that cause these diseases. Resistant bacteria have developed the ability to defeat drugs designed to kill them. Your doctor may order special tests to see if the bacteria causing your infection are resistant. Results from those tests may affect what antibiotic treatment you receive.

People who do not get appropriate antibiotic treatment may have fever for weeks or months and may develop other health problems. People who do not get treatment can die from these health problems.

The danger from typhoid fever or paratyphoid fever doesn’t end when symptoms disappear.

Even if your symptoms seem to go away, you may still be carrying Salmonella Typhi or Salmonella Paratyphi. If so, the illness could return, or you could pass the bacteria to other people. Some people may not be able to return to work until a doctor says they no longer carry the bacteria. These people include healthcare workers, food handlers, and childcare workers.

If you are being treated for typhoid fever or paratyphoid fever, these steps can lower the chance of passing the bacteria to someone else.

  • Keep taking antibiotics for as long as the doctor has recommended.
  • Wash your hands carefully with soap and water after using the bathroom.
  • Do not prepare or serve food for other people.