A species of bacteria called Salmonella enterica or typhi causes a disease called enteric fever or typhoid fever. It is a common disease in India that spreads through foods or drinks contaminated with faecal matter. Typical signs and symptoms of typhoid include high fever, rose spots on the body, diarrhoea, fatigue, headache, abdominal pain and weight loss. The illness is associated with persistent high fever or enteric fever that develops after 8 to 48 hours of infection and may last up to a week. In cases of enteric fever, early detection and diagnosis is essential to prevent severe complications. To ensure this, a quick and relatively inexpensive diagnostic test called “Widal test” is ordered by physicians.
When is the test recommended?
A Widal test helps in the rapid diagnosis of typhoid fever. The test may be recommended when a patient shows the following signs and symptoms:
- Persistent high fever, headache
- Abdominal pain
- Weight loss
- Presence of rose spots on the skin
How is the sample collected?
A blood sample is collected from a vein in the arm.
How to prepare for the test?
It is advisable to inform the doctor about all the medicines and supplements that the patient is on, as certain medicines may affect the test results.