Typhus Vs Typhoid

Here we will see Typhus Vs Typhoid a basic difference between two diseases with their name somewhat similar.

Caused byRickettsia or OrientiaSalmonella typhi
Salmonella paratyphi
Type of diseaseInfectious diseaseInfectious disease
Spread byLice
Contaminated water
Contaminated food
Muscle pain
Vomiting, nausea
Stomach pain
Loss of appetite
Rapid breathing
Swollen lymph nodes
Abdominal pain
Or Loose motions
Faint skin rash
doxycycline and ciprofloxacin
Ceftriaxone or cefixime
and azithromycin

(Fluoroquinolones and
ampicillin and clotrimoxazole
no long effective)
ComplicationsBrain and spinal cord inflammation
Liver damage
Kidney damage
Internal bleeding
Low blood pressure
Septic shock
Intestinal rupture
Intestinal haemorrhage
Brain infection
Kidney damage
Liver damage
Septic shock
Rarely pneumonia
DiagnosisSkin biopsy
Western blot testI
Immunofluorescence test
Widal test
Blood and stool,
urine culture test
Bone marrow culture test
PreventionPersonal hygiene like bathing and
wearing washed clothes.

Keep away rats, squirrels.

Avoiding travel to affected areas.

Chemoprophylaxis with doxycycline.
Washing hands before making
and having food and after using
the toilet and latrine.

Drinking boiled water.

Consuming fresh and
hygienic food.

Typhoid vaccine.
Typhus vs Typhoid

FAQ about Typhus vs Typhoid

Are they the same diseases?

As we discussed in the above table they are two different diseases. Both are infectious diseases.

Do typhus and typhoid spread in similar ways?

No, modes of spread of these two diseases are different. Typhoid spreads through contaminated food and water. Typhus spreads by lice, flea and mites that is through vectors.

Do these diseases cause the same symptoms?

Yes, to some extent. Sometimes in initial stages the symptoms may look similar in both illnesses.

Are they preventable by vaccines?

Typhoid can be prevented by live or killed vaccines but for prevention of typhus, yet there is no vaccine.

How are they diagnosed?

The investigations and tests are suggested on clinical suspicion. For diagnosing Typhus skin biopsy, western blot and immunofluorescence test may be needed but for typhoid fever blood and bone marrow culture are the ideal methods.

How are they treated?

Both Typhus and Typhoid fever are treated with antibiotics. For Typhus, ciprofloxacin and doxycycline are used. For typhoid fever, a third generation cephalosporin and azithromycin can be used.

Role of chemoprophylaxis?

Typhus can be prevented by chemoprophylaxis with doxycycline but for prevention of typhoid fever no chemoprophylaxis is recommended.

Ways of prevention?

For typhus fever, not visiting affected areas and personal hygiene with keeping away rats and squirrels helps for prevention.
For typhoid fever, regular hand wash with soap and water, avoiding contaminated food and water helps for prevention along with vaccination.

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