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Typhoid Vaccine


WHAT IS TYPHOID?


Typhoid is a bacterial infection caused by a bacteria called Salmonella enterica. It is usually acquired by eating  or drinking food or water contaminated by faeces and occasionally the urine of persons acutely ill with typhoid or those who carry the bacteria but may not show symptoms themselves.

Classic symptoms (which usually appear within 7-14 days) include:
Mild fever, diarrhoea, stomach pains, muscle pain, headache and nausea. Increase in the size of the liver and/or spleen happens in 50% of cases.

Severe symptoms may be seen in 10 to 15% of cases and are more likely in untreated cases. These include bleeding from the intestines and perforation, heart muscle infection, pneumonia, seizures, infection of the brain, and meningitis (usually in young children).

Death from Typhoid is less than 1% with prompt antibiotic therapy, but may be as high as 20% if left untreated.

DO I NEED TYPHOID VACCINE FOR MY HOLIDAY?

Typhoid mainly affect regions of the world, where sanitation and clean water are lacking. The majority of typhoid occurs in Asia; however, typhoid continues to be a public health concern in many other low income countries including in Africa and parts of South America.

There are a few of vaccine options available.

  • Oral capsule vaccine (Vivotif) for travellers 6 years and over: course of 3 capsules to be taken on alternate days. Needs to be taken a minimum of 10 days before travel to the affected areas. This vaccine will protect against typhoid for up to 3 years.
  • A single dose vaccine (Typhim, Typherix) for travellers 2 years and over:  Needs to be injected at least 2 weeks before travel to the affected areas.  This vaccine will protect against typhoid for up to 1 years.
  • There is also a vaccine which combines Typhoid and Hepatitis for travellers aged 15 and over: Needs to be given at least 14 days before travel to the affected area.

**Not suitable for pregnant or breastfeeding mothers, patients who suffer with neurological convulsions, have a hypersensitivity to the vaccination or present a fever.
**Vivotif – not suitable for patients if vomiting/diarrhoea and on concurrent antimicrobial or malarial therapy.  

HOW DO I AVOID GETTING TYPHOID?

Whether you have been vaccinated against typhoid or not, it is important to take basic precautions when travelling in countries where typhoid fever is present.
For example:

  • Only drink water that has been recently boiled, or drink from a bottle that is properly sealed
  • Avoid ice cream and don’t have ice in your drinks
  • Avoid uncooked fruits and vegetables, unless you have washed them in safe water and/or peeled them yourself
  • Avoid shellfish, seafood or salads.