Frank McCourt suffered from typhoid fever. A portion of the autobiography, "Typhoid Fever," is often excerpted and anthologized. In this excerpt, Frank's condition is discussed as well as his experience in a quarantined hospital. He spends his time with a young girl who does not have typhoid fever but who suffers from diptheria and malaria.
Frank's illness, typhoid, still exists today, but not in such widespread variations. Normally, patients get it from eating questionable foods or drinking contaminated beverages. In Frank's case, even though he lived in an industrialized country, he lived there when Ireland was in the midst of harsh times (famine, economic depression, and poor sanitary conditions). The Irish and others who contracted typhoid often got it by eating foods that had not been cleaned properly or drinking water that had some sewage in it.
According to the CDC, typhoid lives in the intestines and presents itself through high fever, "flat, rose-colored spots," and stomach pains/loss of appetite.