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Typhoid

What is it?

Typhoid fever is a disease caused by the bacterium Salmonella Typhi (also called Salmonella enterica serotype typhi)Some of the symptoms of typhoid fever include: fever, fatigue (tiredness), diarrhea, constipation, and nausea. Every year, approximately 9 million people get typhoid fever and more than 100,000 die. 

Typhoid is caused by close contact with an infected person or drinking water/eating food contaminated with Salmonella Typhi.

Although typhoid can be treated with antibiotics, this method is becoming less effective due to antibiotic resistance.

In addition to vaccination, the best ways to prevent typhoid are washing your hands, only drinking bottled or boiled water, not eating raw fruits and vegetables (unless you can peel them), and eating hot foods. For a more comprehensive list of prevention strategies, click here. In addition, talk to your doctor before traveling to these areas about the best ways to prevent typhoid. 

The typhoid vaccines are travel vaccines, so you only need a typhoid vaccine if you are traveling to a place where typhoid is common. To see a map of where typhoid is common, click here.

Vaccine Options:

What's the difference between them?

Typhim Vi is a one-dose injection that should be given at least 2 weeks before travel. This vaccine is approved for ages 2+ and requires a booster after 2 years. 

Vivotif is given orally (by mouth) instead of as an injection. This vaccine requires 4 doses taken every other day, and the series should be completed at least 1 week before travel. This vaccine is approved for ages 6+ and requires a booster after 5 years.

Definitions

  • Bacteria: A type of single-celled organism. Some can cause disease, but many are harmless and some actually benefit humans by living in the intestines and helping with digestion 

  • Bacterium: The singular of bacteria (one bacterium, two bacteria)

  • Serotype: a group of strains within a species that share a particular type of surface structure. 

  • Strain: Within a particular species there can be a lot of genetic diversity. A strain refers to one member of that species. 

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