What is Typhoid Fever?
Typhoid fever is a potentially life-threatening infection caused by the bacteria Salmonella typhi. Every year the disease affects up to 16 million people, and causes approximately 600,000 deaths worldwide. With the improvement in sanitary facilities, typhoid has been virtually eliminated in many areas. However, it remains a problem in many developing countries.
What Are The Symptoms?
Typhoid fever is recognised by the onset of fever, severe headache, nausea, fatigue and loss of appetite. It is sometimes accompanied by delirium, bloody stools, constipation, and diarrhoea. In some cases a rash may appear. Severe complications of typhoid fever include bleeding from the gut, perforation of the small intestine, pneumonia, meningitis, and kidney failure.
How Is It Contracted?
Typhoid fever is usually transmitted by food and water that has been contaminated by sewage.
Important sources of infection are:
- Shellfish from sewage polluted beds
- Contaminated raw fruit and vegetables
- Contaminated milk and milk products
- Pollution of water sources
- Ice cream and contaminated ice in drinks
People can transmit the disease as long as the bacteria remain in their system. About 10% of untreated patients will discharge bacteria for up to 3 months, while 2% to 5% of untreated patients will become permanent carriers.
Who Is At Most Risk?
Vaccination is generally recommended if you are considering travel to endemic areas, where sanitation and hygiene may be poor. Particularly if travel is to rural areas, involves close contact with indigenous populations, and/or exposure to potentially unsafe food and water.
Where Are You At Risk?
Typhoid fever is common in many parts of the world, except in industrialised regions such as Western Europe, the United States, Canada, Australia, and Japan. Therefore, if you are travelling to countries in the developing world, you should consider taking precautions. Typhoid fever is most prevalent in any area where hygiene conditions are poor, especially countries in:
- Far East and Indian subcontinent
- South America
A single injection vaccine is available against typhoid fever, which will provide protection for up to 3 years. Booster vaccinations are recommended every three years if you continue to be at risk of infection with typhoid bacteria.
Alternatively, an oral vaccine (given as three capsules to take on alternate days), which provides protection for 1 year. Combined typhoid and hepatitis A injections are also available
- If you have been vaccinated in the past, check with your doctor's surgery to see if it is time for revaccination
- Even with vaccination careful selection of food and drink is essential to minimise the risk of infection
- Taking antibiotics will not prevent typhoid fever - they only help treat it
When Should You Be Vaccinated?
Check with your doctor or practice nurse as soon as you have decided where and when you are travelling, and they will advise on an appropriate vaccination schedule. Ideally, the vaccine should be administered one month before you travel.
Does The Vaccine Have Any Side Effects?
Like most injections, some people may experience tenderness and redness at the site of the injection. Typhoid cannot be contracted directly from the vaccine. About 1% of people who take the vaccine develop a high fever.
Source Of information
GlaxoSmithKline, Wikipedia, local doctors, local hospitals, newspaper articles, various.
Travel Related Diseases
Thailand is an incredibly photogenic country, both for its landscapes and its people. Regardless of whether you enjoy large Asian cities, beaches and islands, or rice fields and mountains, Thailand has something for you and it is a dream destination for photographers.
One of the great things about visiting Thailand is that hotels are plentiful and a lot cheaper than in most other countries. I always use Agoda to book hotels in Thailand. The company was established in Thailand and has great local knowledge, as well as a huge inventory of hotels.
If you click on one of the destinations opposite you will get a list of hotel deals from Agoda. It's generally a good idea to book on-line because you will get a good room rate and you won't suffer the disappointment of arriving at a hotel to find that it is full.
I book hotels regularly in Thailand and I have always found Agoda to be the best on-line travel agent. At times I have spent a lot of time researching hotel prices and although other deals sometimes look better at first I always end up returning to Agoda.
If you don't wish to pay for your hotel at the time of booking, Booking.com normally allows you to pay when you check in at the hotel. Some people prefer this method, but I have always found Booking.com to be more expensive than Agoda.
If you want to compare prices between different on-line travel agents (OTAs) for a specific hotel, you can use a company such as HotelsCombined. However, you will normally find that Agoda is the cheapest and therefore you can save yourself time and money by just booking through Agoda in the first place.
Images of Thailand