Diagnosing typhoid fever 

You should see your GP if you think you have typhoid fever, particularly if you've recently returned from travelling abroad.

Your GP will want to know whether you've travelled to parts of the world where the infection is present, or whether you've been in close contact with someone who's travelled to these areas.

Parts of the world where the infection is most common include the Indian subcontinent, Africa, South East Asia and South America.

Testing for typhoid fever

A diagnosis of typhoid fever can usually be confirmed by analysing samples of blood, stools or urine. These will be examined under a microscope for the Salmonella typhi bacteria that cause the condition.

The bacteria aren't always detected the first time, so you may need to have a series of tests.

Testing a sample of bone marrow is a more accurate way of diagnosing typhoid fever. However, getting the sample is both time-consuming and painful, so it's usually only used if other tests are inconclusive.

If typhoid fever is confirmed, other members of your household may also need to be tested, in case you've passed the infection on to them.

Page last reviewed: 06/07/2015

Next review due: 01/07/2018