Typhoid Fever: An Epidemic With Remarkably Few Clinical Signs and Symptoms

Stephen A. Klotz, James H. Jorgensen, Frederick J. Buckwold, Philip C. Craven

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39 Scopus citations


A major common-source, foodborne epidemic of typhoid fever occurred in San Antonio, Tex, in the fall of 1981, involving 80 verified cases. We summarize the clinical course of our 34 patients who had a nonspecific symptom complex that included at the initial examination fever (32 patients, 93%), headache (19 patients, 57%), diarrhea (11 patients, 33%), and anorexia (ten patients, 30%). The most common initial diagnoses were urinary tract and upper respiratory tract infections. The subsequent isolation of Salmonella typhi from blood cultures was usually unexpected. Physical findings were different from two previous series originating in the United States. Hepatomegaly was noted in only 7% (two patients), splenomegaly was noted in 13% (four patients), and rose spots were noted in 5% (two patients) of the patients. Liver function test results, however, were abnormal in 32 (95%) of the 34 patients (mean SGOT, 155 IU/mL). Typhoid fever, as seen in this outbreak, was notable for its nonspecific and mild manifestation and uniformly favorable outcome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)533-537
Number of pages5
JournalArchives of internal medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1984

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


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