Typhoid fever is a systemic bacterial infection caused by the bacterium salmonella typhi, typhoid is endemic in regions where there is poor sanitation and access to clean drinking water is limited, these include countries in the americas, africa, the indian subcontinent and southeast asia, the majority of cases brought back to the uk are from travelers that are visiting friends and relatives in the indian subcontinent transmission route, salmonella typhi is passed by the fecal oral route when somebody ingests food or water that is contaminated either through poor personal hygiene or by sewage water entering the food chain. Once infected, symptoms include fever, headache, muscle aches, constipation or diarrhea, nausea and abdomen pain, a rash and severe cases may lead to death.
Treatment and prevention
To try to prevent infection, travellers should ensure good personal hygiene, safe access to clean water and good hygiene standards when handling food. Typhoid vaccine is available in both an inactivated injectable form and an oral live form, please note these vaccines do not offer any protection against paratyphoid, a very similar bacterial disease. Typhoid fever is treated with antibiotics and supportive treatment, in most cases treatment will be successful, however antibiotic resistance is increasing throughout the world, travelers risk the highest, risk travelers are those that are traveling on a limited budget or those visiting friends and relatives in endemic regions of the world, attending events such as weddings, funerals or other celebrations with limited options of food and drink are risk factors.
Typhoid is a bacterial infection that is endemic in many parts of the world, it is passed on by contaminated food and water symptoms that are systemic and can include fever gastrointestinal upset and a rash amongst others, in severe cases it can even lead to death. In order to prevent infection, all travellers should ensure they practice good personal hygiene and only consume clean water, only consume food that has been prepared with good hygiene standards and a vaccine is available for those that will be at risk in endemic regions. If symptoms persist, the traveller should seek medical attention as treatment with antibiotics is available.