Typhoid Fever Vaccine: Where to Get It and Why You Need It
What Is Typhoid Fever?
Typhoid fever is an acute, bacterial illness infecting about 21-million people worldwide. It is most prevalent in large portions of Asia and Africa and, untreated, it can be fatal in 10-20 percent of confirmed cases. With prompt, appropriate treatment, the mortality rate is only about 1 percent.
How is Typhoid Fever Spread?
The bacteria that causes typhoid fever, or typhoid, spreads through contaminated food or water. Typhoid is common in developing countries due to a lack of modern sanitation and overcrowded conditions. It is rare in the United States.
Symptoms of Typhoid Fever
The most common symptoms include:
- High fever
- Fatigue and weakness
- Abdominal pain
- Loss of appetite
Typhoid Fever Vaccine
There are two vaccines available to prevent typhoid fever:
- Oral vaccine or “typhoid pill.” This vaccine is made from live, weakened bacteria and is taken over the course of four doses. It provides protection for up to five years and is approved for use in individuals over six years old.
- Typhoid vaccine injection. This typhoid shot contains inactive bacteria. It provides protection for up to two years and is approved for use in individuals over two years old.
The typhoid vaccine is recommended for almost all international destinations, including:
If you do not see your destination among this list, it does not mean you don’t need the typhoid vaccine. Contact a travel medicine specialist at the UH Roe Green Center for Travel Medicine & Global Health for more information about recommended vaccines and disease prevention.