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Clinical Case Report

Typhoid fever presenting as a depressive disorder – a case report

Submitted: 20 July 2009
Revised: 7 December 2009
Published: 12 May 2010

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Author(s) : Ukwaja KN.

Kingsley Ukwaja

Citation: Ukwaja KN.  Typhoid fever presenting as a depressive disorder – a case report. Rural and Remote Health (Internet) 2010; 10: 1276. Available: (Accessed 18 October 2017)


Context:  Neuropsychiatric complications associated with typhoid fever are relatively common in the tropics; however, typhoid fever with associated depression is rare and can present a diagnostic challenge to rural clinicians.
Issue:  This case report describes a 12 year old female with no documented psychiatric history who developed signs and symptoms of delirium with depressive elements while also infected with typhoid fever. At the time of presentation to a community health centre in Abeokuta, Nigeria, the patient had been misdiagnosed as suffering from primary psychiatric morbidity and therefore mismanaged. Following investigation and appropriate therapy she made a complete recovery.
Lessons learned:  A rural physician working in an area with an inadequate safe water supply can expect to encounter several cases of typhoid fever with neuropsychiatric presentation. In order to make a correct diagnosis clinicians must maintain a high index of suspicion of primary medical morbidity in patients presenting with depressive features associated with a febrile illness.

Key words:  case study, depressive disorder, female, mood disorder, rural community, salmonellosis, symptomatology, typhoid, young adult.

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