Is Cough a Symptom Of Typhoid Illness?

Cough is not a ‘must be‘ symptom in typhoid illness. However, many patients suffering from typhoid may show cough.

Hallmark Symptoms Of Typhoid

Typhoid, caused by a bacteria named Salmonella Typhi, is basically an illness affecting your Gut.

So, symptoms are mostly related to the gastrointestinal tract. You have feel any of the following:

  • Nausea, or even vomiting
  • Pain in tummy, which may be mild to severe
  • Disturbed motions, diarrhea or constipation
  • High fever, which may come and go
  • Muscle aches
  • Weakness

If you have high fever with tummy problems, think of ruling out typhoid.

Cough in Typhoid

It is typically dry cough and occurs in early phases of the disease. If you have moderate to high fever that’s not resolving by itself and accompanying non specific respiratory troubles, like dry cough, go for a blood culture to rule out typhoid.

Remember, cough is never very severe in typhoid. It’s almost never wet, that is, not accompanied with secretions or sneezes.

Cough In Paratyphoid

Paratyphoid is another illness, caused by a similar bacteria that affects the gut. This illness is less severe that typhoid.

Dry cough is much common in this illness, with almost all cases showing it and one time or another.

Cough With High Fever- May Be Typhoid

  • Is the cough dry or wet?
  • How severe is it?

These are two important points your doctor would assess before deciding whether this cough points towards a respiratory illness or not.

A dry cough, which occurs off and on, may not be of respiratory origin. See for the presence of any gut problems. High fever is very common in typhoid.

So, any combination of above symptoms calls for typhoid investigations.

Diagnosing Typhoid

After assessing the symptoms and gently palpating your tummy to feel your abdomen, your health care provider may like to confirm the diagnosis by performing some test.

Diagnostic test for typhoid is body fluid culture. A sample of blood, urine or stools may be taken and sent for culture. If typhoid bacteria are present in any of these fluids, they’ll grow up in culture medium and show their presence, thus, confirming the diagnosis.

Bone marrow culture may also be done. This test is expensive, however, most sensitive among all.

Some setups may do Widal Testing. This test is a blood test, that checks the presence of typhoid antibodies in your blood.

Widal tests are not diagnostic and may come positive in many who are not suffering from the disease and still carrying antibodies against typhoid. This may happen because of some previous exposure to this bacteria or vaccination.


Since this is a bacterial illness, the mainstay treatment is taking appropriate antibiotics. Ciprofloxacin in the commonest drug used for treatment these days.

Apart from this, home care is essential. It is necessary to understand that this illness basically affects your gut, which is severely inflamed and irritated. You need to take care of what you eat and what not.

Diet Guide For Typhoid

  • Food should be bland, not very spicy. Spices may irritate the already inflamed gut. This may make the lining of the gut prone to ulcerations or even perforations.
  • Avoid alcohol and smoking. These chemicals may inflame the gut lining.
  • Take a bland diet that’s easily digestible and include simple carbohydrates, like rice, porridge, potatoes or toasted breads.
  • Easily digestible fruits, mashed or stewed vegetables may be taken.
  • Avoid excess of dietary fibers.
  • You need to take plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration, that’s common in this illness. Coconut water is particularly good, as it rehydrates, along with soothing the inflamed intestinal mucosa.

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