Typhoid is a bacterial infection of the digestive tract. The source of this disease is the faecal material of a human carrier, and it is often transmitted by person-to-person contact, especially by food handlers. Typhoid fever is an acute infectious disease, affecting only humans, and characterized by fever, septicaemia, and lesions of the cardiovascular, nervous, and digestive systems.
It was first described in the early 1800's and is prevalent in countries with poor sanitary conditions. Infection occurs when bacteria enters the mouth from the contaminated hands of a sick person or carrier of the typhoid bacillus [Salmonella typhi]. The bacteria multiply in milk, water, vegetables, and fruit. Treatment of typhoid fever patients includes confinement, a special bland diet, antibiotics, and systemic restorative and symptomatic drugs. Vaccination of an entire population when there are indications of an impending epidemic is an auxiliary protective measure; the main protective measures being the availability of sanitary and hygienic public facilities (especially in restaurants, grocery stores, food industry enterprises), and the education of the public in the necessity for good personal hygiene.