Potentially fatal bacteria guilty of causing persistent high fever, abdominal discomfort, malaise, and headache. Travellers in areas without good sanitation or clean water should watch out for contaminated food and water.

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Key Fact

Estimates of case fatality rates in typhoid fever range from 1% to 4% in patients who receive adequate therapy.1

  • How do people catch these disease?

    By eating food or drinking water contaminated by faeces from someone who has been infected with typhoid.1,2

  • Which countries are affected?

    The disease is common in parts of the world where there is less access to clean water and sanitation is poor. This includes most countries in Central and South America, Africa and Asia (see map).3

  • What are the symptoms?

    Persistent high fever, abdominal discomfort, malaise, and headache.1,2

  • How serious is the disease?

    Antibiotics are an effective treatment for typhoid. If untreated and severe, complications of the disease can be fatal.1,2

  • Can I reduce the chances of catching the disease?

    You can take the following precautions to help reduce your risk of infection:

    • Visit your nearest convenient specialist travel health clinic for a risk assessment before your trip4
    • Avoid eating raw or undercooked meat, seafood, fish, fruit or vegetables.4 Choose freshly-cooked food that’s served piping hot or fruit that you peel yourself
    • Avoid ice and stick to fizzy drinks in sealed bottles or cans, or freshly boiled hot drinks 4
    • Wash your hands frequently, especially before eating and after using the toilet4
  1. World Health Organization. Weekly Epidemiological Record. Typhoid vaccines: WHO position paper-March 2018. Available online: http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/272272/WER9313.pdf?ua=1
    (Last accessed May 2018)
  2. Zentrum für Reisemedizin. Typhus abdominalis. Available online: http://www.reisemed.at/krankheiten/typhus-abdominalis (Last accessed May 2018)
  3. Crump JA, Luby SP, Mintz ED. The global burden of typhoid fever. Bulletin of the World Health Organization. 2004;82:346–53. Available online: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2622843/pdf/15298225.pdf (Last accessed May 2018)
  4. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Yellow Book 2018. Chapter 2. The Pre-Travel Consultation. Counseling & Advice for Travelers. Food & Water Precautions. May 2017. Available online: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/yellowbook/2018/the-pretravel-consultation/food-water-precautions (Last accessed May 2018)

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