Typhoid fever is an illness most commonly found in the developing world and affects about 12.5 million people each year. It is a life threatening and caused by the bacterium Salmonella Typhi, which belongs to the Salmonella group. The typhoid fever bacteria is carried in the bloodstream and intestinal tract of infected persons. A small number of persons, called carriers, recover from the fever but continue to carry the bacteria. Both ill persons and carriers shed the bacteria in their faeces.
You can get typhoid fever if you eat food or drink beverages that have been contaminated by a person who is shedding the bacteria or if sewage contaminated with the bacteria gets into the water you use for drinking or washing food.
Persons with typhoid fever usually have a sustained fever as high as 39° or 40° C. They will also feel weak, have stomach pains, headache and loss of appetite. In some cases, patients have a rash of flat, rose-colored spots.
Treatment: Typhoid fever is usually treated with antibiotics and those treated with antibiotics usually improve within 2 to 3 days. However, relapse is not uncommon and patients may develop the carrier state after treatment. Without treatment this illness can be fatal. Persons who do not receive treatment may continue to have the fever for weeks or months, and as many as 20% may die from complications such as peritonitis resulting from perforation of the gut wall.
Typhoid fever can be prevented an so if you are planning to travel to a region where it exists you should protect yourself.
There are two basic actions that can help to protect you from typhoid fever:
1. Get vaccinated against typhoid fever.
2. Avoid risky foods and drinks.
Watching what you eat and drink when you travel is just as important as being vaccinated. This is because the vaccines are not completely effective. Typhoid vaccines are effective after two to three weeks, immunity lasts up to three years.This vaccine sometimes induces a mild form of the illness which can be quite unpleasant in a few cases.
Typhoid fever is a potentially fatal infection that causes diarrhoea and a high temperature (fever) of 38C (100.4F) or over. It is spread through contact with human stools, usually as a result of poor sanitation and personal hygiene.
Causes: Typhoid is transmitted through contaminated food and water.
High-risk Areas: typhoid is found throughout the world, but it is more likely to occur in areas where there is poor sanitation and hygiene. In particular, risk areas include Africa, the Indian subcontinent, South and South East Asia, the Middle East, and Central and South America. In England, most people who get typhoid fever have visited India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Therefore, it is particularly important that you are vaccinated if you are visiting these countries.
Those at higher risk of exposure include:
Travellers should be advised to practice strict food, water and personal hygiene precautions even if vaccinated.
Vaccinations do not provide complete protection against typhoid fever so it is important to take some basic precautions when travelling in countries where typhoid fever is present. For example:
Vaccination is recommended if you are travelling to parts of the world where typhoid fever is present, particularly if you are planning to work or live with local people.
Vaccine Brand: "Typherix" by GSK
Typhoid fever vaccine side effects: After having the typhoid fever vaccine, some people experience temporary soreness, redness, swelling or hardness at the injection site. About 1% of people experience a high temperature (fever) of 38C (100.4F), while less common side effects include: abdominal pain, headache, nausea, diarrhoea.Severe reactions are rare. However, details of possible side effects and special precautions should be discussed during the appointment.
All vaccines administered by The IGP are carried out by fully qualified GPs.
* Please be aware that for full immunity some vaccination courses, with more than one vaccine required, may take up to a month or longer. Please, also be aware that many vaccinations will not become fully effective until around 10 - 14 days after the course completion. It is strongly advised that you leave plenty of time to complete the course before your trip. Intervals between different vaccines or doses are recommended, Which allows time for antibodies to be produced and any reaction to the vaccine to subside.