What Are the Long-Term Effects of Typhoid?

Typhoid fever is a life-threatening bacterial infection caused by a bacteria called Salmonella typhi 1. Typhoid is contracted through consumption of food and water that has been contaminated with Salmonella typhi. According to MedlinePlus, typhoid occurs less frequently in the U.S. and is more common in developing countries such as Africa, Asia and Latin America 1. Untreated typhoid may lead to several long-term effects.

Is This an Emergency?

If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.

Gastrointestinal Bleeding

According to MayoClinic.com, gastrointestinal bleeding is a long-term effect of untreated typhoid 3. MedlinePlus reports that symptoms include severe abdominal pain, coffee grounds vomit, black tarry stool, weakness and dizziness when standing up 1. Prolonged bleeding can lead to loss of iron, which can cause anemia. Massive bleeding can cause shock and death. Gastrointestinal bleeding is a medical emergency that requires immediate medical attention 3.

Intestinal Perforation

MayoClinic.com states that intestinal perforation can occur in the third week if typhoid is left untreated 4. Perforated intestines occur when holes develop in the wall of the intestines, causing intestinal contents to leak into the abdominal cavity. Symptoms include:

  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • abdominal tenderness
  • severe abdominal pain
  • blood infection
  • reports MedlinePlus 1

Patients with intestinal perforation should seek immediate medical care in order for doctors to perform surgery to fix the perforated intestines 4.


Untreated typhoid fever can cause inflammation of heart muscles, which may lead to heart problems in the long term, according to MayoClinic.com 1. Typhoid can also cause an infection in the membranes and fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord, leading to a fatal nervous system disease known as meningitis. Untreated typhoid may also cause an infection of the kidneys and bladder, leading to kidney failure.

Psychiatric Problems

MayoClinic.com states that untreated typhoid can cause permanent psychiatric problems such as delirium, hallucinations and paranoia over the long term. Delirium is a sudden state of confusion due to physical or mental illness. Hallucinations are false and distorted perceptions of events. Paranoia is a symptom of a psychotic disorder in which patients become suspicious of others and feel that the world is out to get them.