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What are the symptoms of typhoid?

Page last updated 22 May 2020

The time between contracting typhoid and the onset of symptoms (known as the incubation period) is usually around 7 to 14 days, however can range between 3 and 60 days.

Symptoms of typhoid can be quite variable, but the initial symptoms commonly include:
•    Low-grade fever
•    Headache
•    Feeling generally unwell
•    Body aches and pains
•    Loss of appetite
•    Dry cough

As the disease progresses, people with typhoid may experience:
•    Increasing fever
•    Constipation or diarrhoea
•    Tender stomach area
•    Slower than usual heart rate
•    Enlarged spleen
•    Rash of flat pink spots

If typhoid is not treated, illness can last for a month.  In about 10% of people the illness comes back, usually about 2 to 3 weeks after recovery.

Serious complications occur in about 10 to 15% of patients with typhoid. These usually occur after a person has been sick for 2 weeks, and can include bleeding or formation of holes in the intestine, effects on the brain function (typhoid encephalopathy), inflammation of other organs like the heart or pancreas, and infection in the lungs (pneumonia), kidneys, bladder, or spine.


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Sources & Citations

2. Victoria State Government. Better Health Channel. Typhoid and paratyphoid. Available at: (accessed 6 May 2020).

3. Australian Government, Department of Health. The Australian Immunisation Handbook. Typhoid fever. Available at: (accessed 6 May 2020).

4. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Typhoid Fever and Paratyphoid Fever. Symptoms and Treatment. Available at: (accessed 6 May 2020). 

6. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. CDC Yellow Book 2020: Health Information for International Travel. New York: Oxford University Press; 2017.

SPANZ.SAPAS.18.04.0143(1)a - Date of preparation May 2020