What is Typhoid?

Typhoid fever is a bacterial infection that can affect multiple organs as it spreads throughout the body. If not treated right away, it can cause fatal complications.

typhoid

What causes Typhoid?

A bacterium called Salmonella Typhi is excreted through faeces and then water that is contaminated with infected faeces or even urine. Contact with the contaminated water will then infect others with the bacterium. It can spread: 

  • Via improper hand washing 
  • Contaminated food is ingested 
  • Through poor sanitation (unclean water) 
  • Using a toilet contaminated with bacteria and touching your mouth before washing your hands 
  • Eating seafood from contaminated sources 
  • Eating raw vegetables fertilised in human waste 
  • Contaminated milk products 
  • Engaging in sexual activities with a person who carries the bacteria

Who should have the Typhoid vaccine?

You should have the vaccine if you are travelling to a location where typhoid fever is common. This includes places like India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, S. America or South Asia. You should consider having the typhoid vaccine if you are going to be staying with or working with local people or staying for prolonged periods in areas where sanitation and food hygiene are likely to be poor.

Vaccine Effectiveness

In the UK, the primary types of typhoid vaccines are:
  • Vi (given as a one-off injection)
  • Ty21a – 3 capsules to take on alternate days
Neither of these vaccines are 100% effective so you should practice additional precautions. This includes:
  • Hand washing: frequent hand washing in hot, soapy water
  • Safe drinking water: Avoid drinking untreated water
  • Eat only cooked fruits/veg: Raw fruits and vegetables can be contaminated by human waste fertiliser
  • Eat only hot foods: Cooked foods will destroy bacteria
  • Medical Treatment: ensure you know where the nearest doctors are
typhoid fever

If you do become infected, you should be aware of the 4 stages of typhoid. You may need typhoid treatment like antibiotics but if it becomes severe, you may need hospitalisation.

Anna Pharmacy has Typhoid vaccines available in Carshalton, Sutton, Hackbridge, Wallington and Croydon.