Everything You Need to Know About Typhoid

Typhoid Information Vaccine - Image of vaccine flask

Understanding Typhoid

Typhoid fever is a severe disease caused by the bacterium Salmonella enterica serotype Typhi (S. Typhi). It is a life-threatening illness, spread through contaminated food or water. The Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates typhoid fever affects 5,700 people in the United States each year. The vaccine for Typhoid is highly recommended for travelers to South Asia, especially Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh.

Preventing Typhoid

To help prevent getting sick from Typhoid…

  • Take huge precaution towards all food and drinks consumed
  • Avoid food by street vendors
  • Avoid eating raw foods
  • Drink only bottled or canned beverages
  • Get Vaccinated

Typhoid Symptoms

The symptoms of typhoid include:

  • stomach pains
  • weakness
  • fever ( Over 100°F)
  • headache
  • loss of appetite
  • cough
  • diarrhea or constipation
  • Some people can develop a rash of flat, rose-colored spots

Typhoid can spread to many other parts of the body, such as the bones or intestines. If left untreated, typhoid can kill up to 30% of the people it infects.

How to Treat Typhoid

If contracted, typhoid fever can be treated with antibiotics, which can reduce complications and mortality rates associated with the disease. However, in recent years, the bacterium responsible for typhoid fever has become increasingly resistant to many antibiotics commonly used to treat the infection. This has made treatment more challenging and underscores the importance of appropriate diagnosis and antibiotic stewardship to help slow the development of antibiotic resistance.

Is there a vaccine for Typhoid?

  • Oral vaccine
    • Can be given to people at least 6 years old.
    • It consists of four pills taken every other day and should be finished at least 1 week before travel.
  • Injectable vaccine
    • Can be given to people at least 2 years old and should be given at least 2 weeks before travel.

Who should receive the vaccine?

Individuals who may be at risk of contracting typhoid fever include:

  • Travelers to regions where typhoid fever is endemic, such as the Indian subcontinent, Latin America, Asia, and Africa.
  • People who have been in close contact with someone who is a carrier of typhoid fever.
  • Laboratory workers who handle specimens that may contain S. Typhi bacteria.

Typhoid Vaccination Schedule

The injection typhoid vaccine can be administered to anyone over the age of 2 years, and a single shot provides sufficient protection. It should be given at least one week before travel to areas where typhoid is a risk.

Effectiveness of the Typhoid vaccine

Although the typhoid vaccine has an efficacy range of 50% to 80%, it is still important to closely monitor food and drink when traveling to countries where there is a risk of contracting typhoid.

Typhoid vaccines lose effectiveness over time. The injectable vaccine requires a booster every 2 years, and the oral vaccine requires a booster every 5 years.

Vaccine Side Effects

The typhoid vaccines licensed in America have few adverse reactions. Mild reactions may include fever, headache, and/or soreness around the injection site.