Typhoid fever is still a health threat in many developing countries but rare in developed countries, this is because adequate medical care, improved sanitation, and safe drinking water are not available in most of these countries.
Due to these reasons, it is highly advisable to get a vaccination when you consider travelling to any of these countries, or you want to live there.
Egypt, Pakistan, and India are high-risks areas for contracting typhoid, other high-risk areas of typhoid fever are Africa, South America, and South and Southeast Asia.
Annually, 21 million people are affected by typhoid worldwide, and every year, about 200,000 people die from this disease.
A very severe illness in recent times is known as typhoid fever, which is caused by a bacterium called “Salmonella enterica; this bacterium enters the body through contaminated food and water.
This bacteria affects your liver and causes severe inflammation of the liver; this can make you very sick for a period of 2 to 3 weeks. If this sickness is not properly treated, it can be fatal and lead to hospitalisation and even death.
Typhoid fever is contracted when you drink water or eat food that has been contaminated with the causal bacteria. People who are ill or carriers of these bacteria can contaminate water supply through their stools.
There is a high concentration of these bacteria in the stools of people who have had typhoid fever. The bacteria can survive for weeks in dried sewage or water, and this is common in underdeveloped countries due to poor sanitation.
Salmonella can also be passed in the urine of infected people when it contaminates a source of water supply.
Some recover from typhoid fever after treatment with antibiotics, and they continue harbouring the bacteria in their gallbladders or intestinal tracts for years. These people are called chronic carriers.
According to statistics, 1 in 20 people who have survived typhoid without being treated with antibiotics become carriers of this disease.
They shed the bacteria through their faeces and urine, and they can infect other people, carriers do not have the signs and symptoms of typhoid fever.
When a carrier who hasn’t washed carefully after using the toilet prepares food, and you eat it, you can become infected with typhoid. You can also contract typhoid fever when you eat fruits and vegetables washed in contaminated water.
You can become infected with typhoid fever when you:
When you take in food or water contaminated with Salmonella, the bacterium enters your small intestine and the bloodstream; it stays there temporarily until it is carried by the white blood cells into the liver, bone marrow, and spleen.
In these places, it multiplies and re-enters your bloodstream; it is at this point you start seeing the signs and symptoms of typhoid fever. Then they invade the lymphatic tissue of the bowel, the gallbladder, and the biliary system and multiply in high numbers there.
These bacteria then move into your intestinal tract and stay there. This is why typhoid fever is diagnosed by testing your stool sample for the presence of these bacteria. Urine and blood samples are also tested for the presence of salmonella species.
Typhoid fever has an incubation period of 1 to 2 weeks; this is the time it takes for the sickness to develop. Common signs and symptoms of typhoid fever are:
When left untreated, it can become delirious, and life-threatening complications can develop at this time. A condition known as “typhoid state” can develop. This is a state in which you lie motionless and exhausted, and your eyes will be half-closed.
Antibiotics are used to treat typhoid fever. They kill the causal organism and reduce the mortality rate. Appropriate antibiotic therapy improves the symptoms of typhoid in 1 to 2 days, and recovery is seen within 7 to 10 days.
There are several antibiotics used in treating typhoid, your doctor will help choose the antibiotic that can handle your case, and this choice depends on the geographical area where the disease was contracted from.
In 10% of people, the signs and symptoms may return after about two weeks of treatment. This relapse is common in people treated with antibiotics.
When relapses occur, patients are treated with antibiotics again. Those who are chronically ill are treated with prolonged antibiotics, permanent cure for typhoid fever includes the surgical removal of the gallbladder, which is the site of chronic infection.
Health complications are caused when typhoid is not treated with the appropriate antibiotics or when the treatment is delayed. These complications usually develop during the third week of infection, and 1 out of 10 people experience these complications.
There are 2 common complications in cases of untreated typhoid fever; they are:
A blood transfusion might be needed to replace the lost blood, and in some cases, surgery is carried out to repair the bleeding site.
This condition is a medical emergency because your peritoneum is germ-free and does not have an inbuilt defence mechanism. The infection might spread to your bloodstream and other vital organs.
This raises the risks of multiple organ failure and might lead to death if not treated promptly and properly. The most common symptom of peritonitis is worsening abdominal pain, and surgical procedures can be used to seal holes in your intestines.
Other uncommon complications of typhoid fever are:
With prompt and appropriate treatment, you can recover from typhoid fever and survive these complications while vaccinations will prevent it from happening in the first place.
This vaccine is an inactivated polysaccharide; it will be injected into the dorsal muscle in your arm. The dose is 0.5 ml, and you take one dose 2 weeks before you travel. We can also give it to you immediately before you travel if it is necessary.
You take a booster dose every 3 years; you can also be immunised orally instead of an injection. No special certificates are required, and some side effects of this vaccine are flu-like symptoms, inflammation, redness, and local pain.
This is an oral typhoid vaccine, and it is administered orally in capsules, and 3 doses are taken on the 1st, 3rd, and 5th day. A booster dose is taken every 1 to 3 years.
You have to store your capsules in a fridge, and you take each capsule an hour before a meal. Swallow it whole using cold water, don’t crush or open the capsule.
It is safe for 6 years old and above. Side effects of this vaccine are gastrointestinal problems, flu-like symptoms, inflammation, redness, and local pain. It can induce immune system problems in pregnant women.
The protection induced by a vaccination lasts for three years.
We provide typhoid fever vaccinations and a wide range of vaccinations against common illnesses. We prepare immunisations, injections, and tablets for people in London and its environs and even those visiting the city.
They are a lot of options to choose from, but our team of expert travel nurses will help you in making the right choice, and this will depend on where you are travelling to and your specific circumstances.
You can even take a typhoid vaccine along with Hepatitis A and oral capsules.
Do you want to book a typhoid vaccination? It is quick and easy to book an appointment with us; you can do it either through phone call or through our website.
Call us today on 020 37457527; you will be connected to an expert vaccination specialist who will tell you of the benefits and help you make the right choice.