Typhoid: a preventable traveler trial

dirty-waterWhat is Typhoid?

This life-threatening fever is caused by the bacterium Salmonella Typhi. There are about 400 cases of Typhoid in the U.S. each year; 75% of which are contracted while citizens are traveling internationally. It is predominant in the developing world, which sees about 21.5 million cases yearly. It is therefore very important for anyone traveling internationally to get this vaccine.

How is it spread?

Salmonella Typhi is carried in people’s bloodstream or intestinal tract and can be passed through food and drinks they handle. The bacteria can also be passed when contaminated sewage comes into contact with water used for drinking or washing food.

Two ways to avoid the fever:

  • Get the vaccine (available at ProHealth and ProHealth Medical Care)
  • Stay away from risky foods and drinks like
    • raw fruits and veggies that can’t be peeled
    • food from street vendors
    • ice, or drinks that may have been made with contaminated water

Two different vaccines:

The shot, which contains killed Salmonella typhi bacteria.

The pill vaccine contains a live, but weakened, strain of the Salmonella bacteria (the cause of typhoid fever).

Who needs the vaccine?

  • Travelers headed to developing nations need to get the Typhoid vaccine at least two weeks before travel
  • People in close contact with a Typhoid carrier
  • Lab workers who might be exposed to the disease