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Typhoid

Typhoid

Typhoid fever is a life-threatening illness caused by the bacterium Salmonella typhi. Typhoid fever can be prevented and can usually be treated with antibiotics.

How is typhoid fever spread?

Salmonella typhi lives only in humans. Persons with typhoid fever carry the bacteria in their bloodstream and intestinal tract. In addition, a small number of persons, called carriers, recover from typhoid fever but continue to carry the bacteria. Both ill persons and carriers shed S. typhi in their faeces (stool).

You can get typhoid fever if you eat food or drink beverages that have been handled by a person who is shedding S. typhi or if sewage contaminated with S. typhi bacteria gets into the water you use for drinking or washing food. Therefore, typhoid fever is more common in areas of the world where hand washing is less frequent and water is likely to be contaminated with sewage.

Once S. typhi bacteria are eaten or drunk, they multiply and spread into the bloodstream. The body reacts with fever and other signs and symptoms.

What are the signs and symptoms of typhoid fever?

Persons with typhoid fever usually have a sustained fever as high as 103° to 104° F (39° to 40° C). They may also feel weak, or have stomach pains, headache, or loss of appetite. In some cases, patients have a rash of flat, rose-colored spots. The only way to know for sure if an illness is typhoid fever is to have samples of stool or blood tested for the presence of S. typhi

How can you avoid typhoid fever?

Two basic actions can protect you from typhoid fever:

  1. Avoid risky foods and drinks.
  2. Get vaccinated against typhoid fever.

Boil drinking water to a rolling boil for 1 minute before you drink it.

Ask for drinks without ice unless the ice is made from bottled or boiled water. Avoid flavored ices that may have been made with contaminated water.

Eat foods that have been thoroughly cooked and that are still hot and steaming.

Avoid raw vegetables and fruits that cannot be peeled. Vegetables like lettuce are easily contaminated and are very hard to wash well.

When you eat raw fruit or vegetables that can be peeled, peel them yourself. (Wash your hands with soap first.) Do not eat the peelings.

Avoid foods and beverages from shops/places where the food is not kept clean.

Remember that you will need getting vaccinated.  Typhoid vaccines lose effectiveness after several years; if you were vaccinated in the past, check with your doctor to see if it is time for a booster vaccination. Taking antibiotics will not prevent typhoid fever; they only help treat it.


Vaccine Name

How given

Number of doses necessary

Time between doses

Total time needed to set aside for vaccination

Minimum age for vaccination

Booster needed every...

Ty21a (Vivotif Berna, Swiss Serum and Vaccine Institute)

1 capsule
by mouth

4

2 days

2 weeks

6 years

5 years

ViCPS (Typhim Vi, Pasteur Merieux)

Injection

1

N/A

2 weeks

2 years

2 years

Last Modified : 2/12/2020



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