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 degrees Celcius. 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.
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 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.
The vaccine is thought to be 75% effective against typhoid fever in the first year after vaccination
Ideally, the typhoid vaccine should be given at least 1 month before you travel but, if necessary, it can be given closer to your travel date. The vaccine is not 100% effective, so you will still need to avoid contaminated food or water and pay careful attention to your personal hygiene.
The vaccine is available as either a single injection or a combined Vaccine with with Hepatitis A.
The vaccine protects against typhoid fever for about 3 years, after which a booster will be required.
The typhoid fever vaccine is suboptimal for infants younger than two and assessment should be made, but the course is the same as the adult course after this age.
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.
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 weeks 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.
The above information should only be used as a guide and is not a substitute for medical advice. All vaccinations are only carried out following a Travel Risk Assessment and Consultation. The brand of vaccine we supply may also vary depending on the current supply status of a particular vaccine.
In order for us to assess the most appropriate vaccines please complete our Travel Risk Assessment.
Please contact us for more information or to book an appointment at any one of our occupational health clinics.
Our admin hours are 08:30 to 17:00. Outside of these hours you can send us a message or request a callback.
The Independent General Practice