Can Typhoid be Transmitted from Person to Person?

typhoid fever- Sriramakrishnahospital

Thyroid fever is a serious and contagious infection caused by a bacteria called Salmonella typhi. Although it is highly contagious, it is not the way most infections spread. It can cause several symptoms that may show up when the infection develops. While the infection is often associated with contaminated food or water, it can lead to the spread of typhoid fever from person to person. Let us explore several other ways how a typhoid infection spreads.

What are the common symptoms of typhoid fever?

Typhoid fever is usually referred to as a kind of fever that tends to stay for weeks in case treatment is not provided. Here are the common symptoms that a typhoid fever can cause:

  • Chills 
  • Headache 
  • Stomach pain 
  • Loss of appetite
  • Rise in spots on the chest or stomach
  • Ache in muscles 
  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Constipation or diarrhea

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, reach out to the general medicine doctor in Coimbatore to seek medical help. 

What are the different modes of transmission of typhoid?

Understanding how typhoid fever spreads is important to prevent its transmission. Here’s a breakdown of the primary ways this illness can be passed on:

Contaminated food and water:

This is the most common mode of transmission. The bacteria responsible for typhoid, Salmonella typhi, is shed in the feces of infected individuals. Contaminated water sources especially due to sewage leaks or food handled by someone who is infected and hasn’t washed their properly can carry bacteria. When someone consumes contaminated food or water, they ingest the bacteria, leading to an infection. 

Person-to-person contact:

While less common than fecal-oral transmission, typhoid can spread through close contact with an infected person. This can occur when someone changes the diaper of a child with typhoid without proper hygiene measures or comes in direct contact with the stool or vomit of an infected individual. 


Even after recovering from typhoid fever, some individuals become carriers. These carriers exhibit symptoms but continue to shed the bacteria in their stool, posing a risk of typhoid fever transmission to others.

What are the different stages of typhoid fever?

Typhoid fever gradually develops in four stages. Seeking early treatment can prevent these stages from developing,

Stage 1: 

The symptoms of typhoid fever begin usually from 5 to 14 days once you come in contact with the infection. The first symptom of typhoid fever is a high fever and the infection begins to spread through the blood. 

Stage 2:

Your patches will start to grow more bacteria around the second week of fever. Abdominal pain and other symptoms related to the stomach, such as constipation or diarrhea, will start to occur. 

Stage 3:

The bacteria can cause serious damage if left untreated, this usually stay about three weeks after the onset of symptoms. Serious complications like internal bleeding can happen in certain cases. 

Stage 4:

Most people start to heal at stage 4. Your elevated fever starts to decrease. Even after you feel better, you might still be contagious because S. typhi can survive in the gallbladder without showing symptoms. 

What are the factors that affect the risk of person-to-person transmission?

Several factors influence the likelihood of person-to-person transmission of typhoid.

Hygiene practices:

Improper handwashing after using the toilet or changing diapers significantly increases the risk of transmission. 


Poor sanitation infrastructure in areas with limited access to clean water and proper sewage disposal creates a higher risk of fecal contamination, promoting both water-borne and person to person transmission. 

Severity of infection:

Individuals in the early stages of typhoid, when symptoms like fever and diarrhea are prominent, shed more bacteria, increasing the risk of transmission,

Who is at more risk of person to person transmission?

Certain groups are more vulnerable to contracting typhoid through person to person contact:


Individuals caring for sick family members with typhoid, especially young children who may not have proper hygiene practices, are at an increased risk. 

Healthcare workers:

Medical professionals treating typhoid patients, particularly in areas with limited resources, might be exposed to contaminated bodily fluids. 

People living in close quarters:

In crowded living conditions, where hygiene practices might be compromised, the risk of person-to-person transmission is higher. 

What are the precautions for typhoid fever to minimize person-to-person spread?

Fortunately, several measures can effectively minimize the risk of person-to-person transmission of typhoid:

  • Frequent handwashing:

Washing hands thoroughly with soap and water after using the toilet, changing diapers, and before preparing or eating food is the single most effective way to prevent the spread of typhoid and other infectious diseases. 

  • Safe water and food practices:

Consuming only treated or bottled water, avoiding raw or undercooked food, maintaining proper food hygiene practices significantly reducing the risk of infection. 

  • Sanitation improvements:

Investing in better sanitation infrastructure, including proper sewage disposal and clean water sources, is crucial for preventing typhoid outbreaks, particularly in high risk areas. 

  • Vaccination:

Vaccination against typhoid fever is a highly effective preventive measure. It offers significant protection against the disease and can reduce the severity of symptoms if infection occurs. 

How long can a typhoid fever last for?

Typically when the treatment begins right after the onset of the symptoms it may last for a week or 10 days. But when the treatment is delayed typhoid may last for three weeks or even longer. 

Is typhoid life-threatening?

In general typhoid alone is not life threatening when the treatment is provided on time most people recover completely. But when the treatment is delayed and the infection is serious it can result in complications although it is rare.

Can you spread typhoid even after recovering?

Unfortunately, people who have recovered from typhoid can still carry the typhoid infection. 

Important Takeaway:

While person to person transmission is a concern, it is less common than contracting typhoid through contaminated food or water. By following proper hygiene practices, maintaining good sanitation standards, and getting vaccinated, we can significantly reduce the risk of typhoid fever and protect ourselves and also our community. Consult the general medicine hospital in Coimbatore to seek treatment for typhoid and prevent the condition effectively.

General Medicine Hospital Coimbatore-Sriramakrishnahospital

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