Typhoid is a bacterial infection that is transmitted by food and drink that has been contaminated with faeces or urine from an infected person or carrier. It general occurs in countries where environmental health and hygiene standards are poor, and water or food supplies are liable to contamination with sewerage. The highest incidence is in South Asia. Symptoms usually develop between 1 and 3 weeks. Treatment is with antibiotics and supportive measures such as rehydration.
Vaccination is advised if travelling to high risk areas and occasionally in lower risk areas if there are other factors involved such as increased susceptibility to infection. It can provide some protection against typhoid but does not prevent it completely. This can be as an individual vaccine via injection or orally or can be combined with hepatitis A vaccination (see Hepatitis A for further information).
Other precautionary measure include:
- Use bottled water or boiled tap water
- Brush your teeth using bottled or boiled water
- Wash your hands frequently with soap using bottled or boiled water (allowed to cool) especially after using the toilet, eating or preparing food
- Avoid all ice in drinks
- Only eat uncooked vegetables and fruit if you have washed them in boiled/bottled water and prepared yourself
- Try to only eat fruit that you can peel
- Do not eat shell fish or sea food
Typhoid Fever symptoms include:
- High temperature up to 40C
- Aches and pains
Vaccines: Typhim Vi or oral Vivotif
- One dose with booster 3 yearly if needed.
- Oral vaccine 2 tablets on days 1, 3 and 5. Also needs booster every 3 years - currently unavailable.
- £32 per dose for injection