What is a Widal Test? When Should I Get a Widal Test done?

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The widal test is designed to check for typhoid fever and can be performed through a blood sample analysis. If you are exhibiting the signs of typhoid then getting a widal test done is the right first step. A widal test can also be life-saving in many cases where the typhoid symptoms may have gone unnoticed.

What is the widal test?

The widal test is an antibody detection test, to check for typhoid fever. It is one of the main tests for typhoid fever, others being stool antigen and bone marrow for more complex symptoms. You can get the widal test done to diagnose typhoid fever and start medication.

The symptoms start to emerge within the 6 - 14 day period, which is when you should get tested for them. You can get the widal test done at home so that you aren't exerting too much energy to get to a hospital during the early stages.

What does the widal test check for?

The widal test checks for antibodies against the Salmonella bacteria, which is the main bacteria that causes typhoid. The test is designed to find two types of antibodies, namely S. Typhi O (TO) called the primary antigen and S. Typhi H (TH) the secondary antigen.

Similarly, for the bacteria type S. Paratyphi the two antigens tested are S. Paratyphi A and S. Paratyphi B. Through the analysis of these antibodies, the detection of the typhoid test can be done. If your blood doesn't possess these antibodies, that automatically emerge upon detection of the bacteria, then you may not have typhoid.

Here's when you should get a widal test done

In the event of typhoid fever symptoms, you should get a widal test done. The report of the widal test will be helpful in understanding what is the risk factor of typhoid fever present. By analysing the titre value of O and H antigens, the diagnosis of typhoid fever can be performed.

Since the widal test is a test for antibodies, it is important to know the history of the individual getting the test. Their history of enteric fever should be known as there may be antibodies present from prior exposure.

The first step when experiencing symptoms is the widal test, especially if you are already aware of the risk factors that may have caused typhoid. The activity of the individual should be accounted for when getting an analysis of widal test done to diagnose typhoid fever. The presence of bacteria should be clearer to understand in this case.

Do you have these symptoms of typhoid fever?

The following symptoms of typhoid fever may be important to track, especially in children and older individuals. You can measure these symptoms synchronously if they have other medical or health conditions that they may be dealing with.

Fever & chills

Fevers that are above 101 degrees should be taken seriously, especially if there is also a chills sensation that is accompanied with it.


Confusion is a key symptom that is associated with typhoid and other conditions. You should track this by continuously checking-in with the person who may be sick.

Blood in stool

The presence of blood in the stool of the person may be an important sign of typhoid, especially when they also have fever.

Attention issue

A lack of concentration and focus can be attributed to typhoid fever. This may be consistent with other symptoms that form the complete profile of a typhoid fever issue.

Bleeding through nose

Nose bleeds that don't seem to have an origin point may be another symptom experienced. You should get a complete blood test done as a precaution to check for deficiencies, changes in WBC, haemoglobin issue, etc.

Severe tiredness

You may also experience severe tiredness, along with fever and dehydration, which is a clearer sign that you may have typhoid fever. This can be accompanied by localized pain, such as headaches or body aches.

Sluggish sensation

A general sense of sluggishness may also be a critical sign that typhoid fever may be present. You can feel body pain along with sluggishness which may further be a sign of an infection.

Stomach pain

Stomach pain, along with the critical typhoid symptoms, should be taken seriously as it could be a sign of secondary symptoms.

What are the various stages of typhoid fever?

It's important to track the typhoid fever symptoms so that you're able to determine which stage is the person in.

Stage 1

Stage 1 is generally the incubation stage which occurs during the first week of the bacterial presence. This can lead to the gradual development of some symptoms.

Stage 2

Fever may start to develop at this point, along with other symptoms such as body pain and headaches. You can expect your temperature to rise steadily as your body deals with the infection.

Stage 3

This is when your temperature may begin to rise steadily, often reaching 103 F in some cases. You may also start to develop other symptoms that can impact your body's ability to manage the infection for weeks.

Stage 4

The convalescence stage is when the body starts to feel better as the fever diminishes. You may feel tiredness for several weeks as you recover steadily.

*Medical Disclaimer - The following information is for educational purposes only. No information provided on this website, including text, graphic, and images, are intended as substitutes for professional medical advice. Please consult with your doctor about specific medical advice pertaining to your condition(s)

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