Potentially fatal bacteria guilty of causing a very high temperature, stomach pain, headaches and constipation or diarrhoea. Travellers in areas without good sanitation or clean water should watch out for contaminated food and water.
Where antibiotics are available, less than 1% of people with typhoid die from the disease.1
How do people catch the disease?
By eating food or drinking water contaminated by faeces from someone who has been infected with typhoid.3
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).2
What are the symptoms?
Fever, fatigue, headache, pain in the stomach, constipation or diarrhoea.3
How serious is the disease?
Antibiotics are an effective treatment for typhoid. If untreated and severe, complications of the typhoid can be fatal.3
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 pharmacy or specialist travel health clinic for a risk assessment before your trip
- 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 drinks4
- Wash your hands frequently, especially before eating and after using the toilet 4
1. White JN. Salmonella typhi (Typhoid Fever) and S. paratyphi (Paratyphoid Fever). February 2010. Available online: http://www.antimicrobe.org/b106.asp (Last accessed September 2017)
2. Crump JA, Luby SP, Mintz ED. The global burden of typhoid fever. Bulletin of the World Health Organization. 2004;82:346–53
3. World Health Organization. Weekly Epidemiological Record. WHO Position Paper on Typhoid. February 2008. Available online: http://www.who.int/wer/2008/wer8306.pdf (Last accessed September 2017)
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-pre-travel-consultation/food-water-precautions (Last accessed September 2017)
UK/TRA/0817/0171h September 2017