What is Typhoid fever?
Typhoid fever is an infection caused by that spreads through the bloodstream and intestinal tract; only humans can be infected. Once universally prevalent, improved sanitation and higher standards of hygiene has meant it is now only common in less developed regions. Typhoid continues to be curable and can be treated with appropriate antibiotics, however resistance to antibiotics is spreading and there are now forms of extensively drug resistant Salmonella typhi bacteria. Typhoid immunisation is crucial for those travelling to developing countries.
What are the symptoms?
The disease causes fever, headaches, fatigue and constipation (although diarrhoea may also occur). Symptoms may last for 3 weeks or longer. Some patients have only a mild illness, but the disease can occasionally be fatal if not treated. Others may be asymptomatic, although they may carry the typhoid organism long-term and are capable of transmitting the infection. Some 5% of people suffering typhoid become chronic carriers.
Where is it found?
Typhoid is a public health concern in developing countries worldwide. Prevalence is high throughout Asia, Africa and South America. According to the Coalition Against Typhoid, a reported 12 to 21 million cases and 128,000 to 223,000 deaths occur every year, while remaining rare in Australia. However, 167 Australians became infected with typhoid fever in 2018, making immunisation very important.
Risk to travellers
Typhoid is transmitted by food and water that has been contaminated with faecal material from persons who either have the disease or are carriers.
The risk of infection increases for those with one or more of the following risk factors:
- prolonged travel (over 2 weeks)
- visiting family, friends and relatives in endemic areas.
- travel to rural areas.
- living in conditions with poor sanitation.
- adventurous eating habits.
- some medical conditions, such as lowered gastric defences
Travelvax urges individuals travelling to developing countries to be vaccinated against typhoid to prevent the transmission of this disease. Our typhoid vaccination process is as follows:
What is Typhoid fever Vaccination?
- Oral live-attenuated vaccine (Vivotif oral)
- Injectable, synthetic (Typhim Vi)
- Combined with Hepatitis A (Vivaxim)
Read more on typhoid fever in the Australian Immunisation Handbook.
- Oral (refrigerated):
Three capsules at 0, 3, 5 days confers protection for three years.
Single dose gives 3 years protection.
Level of protection
- Oral vaccine provides about 75% protection; food and water precautions are important.
- Injectable vaccine offers ~84% protection; food and water precautions are important.
Possible Side Effects
Usually infrequent and mild:
Fever and headache (9% of recipients)
Redness, soreness, swelling and itching around the injection site.
Abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea and rashes.
As with all vaccines, there is a small risk of allergic reaction.
Where can I get a Typhoid fever vaccination from?
If you require vaccination against Typhoid Fever, head to a Travelvax clinic near you. Staffed by trained professionals who have access to state-of-the-art equipment, we can help keep you safe on your next trip.