Protect Yourself with Typhoid Fever Vaccine!
About 400 cases of typhoid fever occur in the United States each year, and 75% of these are acquired while traveling internationally. Typhoid fever is still common in the developing world, where it affects about 21.5 million persons each year.
Typhoid fever can be prevented with Typhoid Fever vaccine and can usually be treated with antibiotics. If you are planning to travel outside the United States, you should know about typhoid fever, typhoid fever vaccine and other steps you can take to protect yourself.
How is typhoid fever spread?
Salmonella Typhi lives only in humans. Persons with typhoid fever carry the bacteria in their bloodstream and intestinal tract. In addition, a small number of persons, called carriers, recover from typhoid fever but continue to carry the bacteria. Both ill persons and carriers shed the S. Typhi bacterium in their feces (stool).
You can get typhoid fever if you eat food or drink beverages that have been handled by a person who is shedding S. Typhi or if sewage contaminated with S. Typhi bacteria gets into the water you use for drinking or washing food. Therefore, typhoid fever is more common in areas of the world where handwashing is less frequent and water is likely to be contaminated with sewage.
Once S. Typhi bacteria are eaten or drunk, they multiply and spread into the bloodstream. The body reacts with fever and other signs and symptoms.
Typhoid fever is common in most parts of the world except in industrialized regions such as the United States, Canada, western Europe, Australia, and Japan. Therefore, if you are traveling to the developing world, you should consider taking the typhoid fever vaccine. Over the past 10 years, travelers from the United States to Asia, Africa, and Latin America have been especially at risk.
How can you avoid typhoid fever?
Two basic actions can protect you from typhoid fever:
- Avoid risky foods and drinks.
- Get vaccinated against typhoid fever.
There are 2 formulations of Typhoid Fever vaccine available in the U.S., oral Typhoid Fever tablets and injectable Typhoid Fever vaccine. The oral Typhoid Fever tablet regimen involves taking 1 tablet every other day for 4 doses and must be completed at least 1 week before you travel. The oral Typhoid Fever vaccine provides 5 years of protection while the injectable form of Typhoid Fever vaccine is given as one dose and will provide significant protection for 2 years.
If you are traveling outside of the U.S, visit
http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/content/vaccinations.aspx for more specific information related to Typhoid Fever vaccine and other information you need before you travel.
Most of the above information was taken from http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dbmd/diseaseinfo/typhoidfever_g.htm#how.
For more specific information, refer to the Typhoid Fever Vaccine Information Statement (VIS) found at http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/vis/downloads/vis-typhoid.pdf