What is Typhoid Fever?
This refers to a bacterial infection caused by exposure to a type of Salmonella bacteria called Salmonella typhi. This is spread by food and water which has been contaminated by the feces of patients who are currently infected or are chronic carriers of the bacteria. It is usually found in parts of the world where handwashing is less frequent and water is more likely to be contaminated with human waste.
Common symptoms include prolonged high fever, abdominal pain, headache, and rash. Symptoms can last for up to 4 weeks and the infection can be fatal if untreated. People can also become chronic carriers of typhoid and continue to spread the infection to other people.
Treatment involves antibiotic therapy.
How can I help prevent Typhoid Fever?
Have proper immunizations against typhoid fever before traveling outside this country or if a member of your household carries the disease. Immunization is recommended for international travelers to endemic areas, especially if travel likely will involve exposure to unsafe food and water or close contact with rural areas and indigenous populations. Immunization is not a legal requirement for entry into any country. Typhoid risk is greatest for those traveling to developing countries (especially Asia, Africa, Central America, and South America) who have prolonged exposure to potentially contaminated food and drink.All travelers need to be aware that typhoid vaccination is not a substitute for carefully selecting food and drink, since no vaccine is 100% effective.