The clinical experience with enteric fever (1985-89) at a general hospital in Kuwait is presented. There were 90 cases of typhoid and 10 cases of paratyphoid fever, with a mortality rate of 2%. Typhoid complications of bowel perforation, haemorrhage or septic shock were present in 5% and abortion in 2%. Neurological or psychiatric manifestations were a feature in 15%. Most infections were imported (78%). Despite rapid economic development, enteric fever may still be acquired locally but less frequently with time. This contributed to initial diagnostic uncertainty in 18% of cases, and especially in children. Another changing pattern emerged with the recent finding of five drug-resistant Salmonella typhi isolates, two in 1988 and three in 1989. Efforts are clearly needed to diagnose enteric fever more rapidly and to utilize new antibiotics for drug-resistant cases.