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How do I get Typhoid from Food and Beverages?

Updated: Jul 24, 2023

Typhoid is an illness transmitted by bacteria in food and water where sanitation standards are lower than the United States. It is recommended by the CDC for travel to almost any under-developed country.



Drinking factory-sealed, bottled water or boiling water for at least one minute makes the water safe for consumption. Avoid ice cubes, popsicles, and shaved ice that might have been produced with local water.

Hot foods are safer than cold foods due to the heat killing bacteria. Eating raw fruits and vegetables that cannot be peeled are at higher risk for typhoid transmission. The bacteria can live on the outer skin of the food and may not be washed off appropriately, so peeling off the skin is best.

Street food is sometimes part of your travel experience, but try to avoid food and drinks that are not served steaming hot. The person preparing the meal and the meal itself increase your risk of typhoid.

The most popular travel destinations for these typhoid patients who had only visited one country were India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Mexico, and Haiti. Coincidentally, there is also cholera in most of these countries, and short-term immunity can be achieved with the cholera vaccine, VaxChora. This is an oral vaccine that is drank in water.

Making safe food and drink choices while traveling can help you prevent typhoid and enjoy your travels. If you do begin to fall ill, see a doctor as soon as possible. You will have a high fever for a very long time if you do not see a doctor and start antibiotics.

If you contract typhoid, do not prepared food for others and wash your hands very thoroughly after using the restroom to avoid giving typhoid to other people. Follow your doctor's recommendations until they say you are no longer contagious.

Schedule an appointment for a travel health consultation and travel vaccines at any Away Clinic location. For group travel vaccine appointments, please call 480-712-8865 to be scheduled all at the same time.

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