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.
**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.