Until 1948, little other than supportive measures could be offered the typhoid patient, but with the discovery of the antibiotic chloramphenicol, mortality was markedly reduced. For 20 years chloramphenicol was an entirely effective treatment, but resistance to it emerged in the early 1970s almost simultaneously in Mexico and Vietnam. Within a few years, 75 percent of all isolates of S. typhi in Vietnam were resistant. In developed areas, where infections were less frequent and antibiotic use was more tightly controlled, the percentage of resistant strains remained below 5 percent. Antibiotics such as trimethoprim, sulfamethoxazole, ampicillin, and others are now the drugs of choice for typhoid fever.

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