Typhoid Fever: How to Avoid it and How to Protect Yourself?

Typhoid Fever: How to Avoid it and How to Protect Yourself?

Typhoid fever is one of the most dreaded bacterial infections. It usually affects most body organs and may cause severe complications or turn fatal if not treated promptly.

While typhoid fever is rare in the UK, the government recorded 349 confirmed typhoid and paratyphoid fever cases in 2018. These cases were diagnosed in England, Northern Ireland, and Wales, but 99% of the patients had travel histories from other countries. So if you are planning to visit a foreign country, getting a Fit to fly test can be helpful to check if you are healthy and devoid of any diseases.

Who Can Get Typhoid Fever?

This infection is rampant in countries with limited access to potable water and poor sanitation systems. In addition, children are reportedly more at risk of contracting the disease due to their underdeveloped immune systems.

Also, people diagnosed with the disease reportedly get the infection after travelling to India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan. Other high-risk areas in the world for typhoid fever include countries in Africa, Asia, and South America.

What Are The Symptoms of Typhoid Fever?

Some of the common symptoms of typhoid fever include:

  • Headache
  • Consistent high temperature that increases gradually every day
  • Body aches
  • Fatigue
  • Constipation
  • Cough

Patients also lose their appetite, feel stomach pain, and experience diarrhoea when the infection escalates.

How to Treat Typhoid Fever?

If you suspect that you have the infection, you must consult with your GP right away. The doctor would require you to take antibiotic tablets for immediate treatment. However, you can treat the disease at home with a seven- to 14-day antibiotics dose for a mild infection. But if the doctor finds out that your infection is severe, you must be admitted to a hospital and get an antibiotic injection.

How to Prevent Typhoid Fever?

There are two main types of Typhoid vaccines in the UK that can prevent the infection, which are

  • Vi vaccine – single-shot injection; and
  • Ty21a vaccine – prescribed as three capsules for consumption on alternate days

These vaccines work by tricking the body into producing antibodies to help you avoid getting ill if exposed to typhoid bacteria.

However, you must still practise proper hygiene and take extra precautions when dining or drinking in a foreign country.

Where to Get the Typhoid Fever Vaccine?

Contact your GP to update your UK vaccinations and let them know you plan to travel abroad. You must also ask them if they can offer free NHS travel vaccines.

If they do not have this service, you can visit a private clinic for travel vaccination or travel healthcare services.

Aside from Typhoid fever vaccines, you may also book a COVID test from the clinic to get a fit to fly test certificate. The PCR fit to fly test result may be required in some countries.