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How to avoid typhoid and related illnesses

Food at a boat market

Typhoid fever is a bacterial infection caused by Salmonella typhi. Typhoid is spread through contaminated food or water and can cause symptoms such as fever, weakness, stomach pain, and loss of appetite. In severe cases, it can lead to complications such as internal bleeding or pneumonia. It can be treated with antibiotics, but it can be prevented by practicing good hygiene and sanitation. Typhoid is endemic to developing countries that lack expensive modern water, sewage and waste systems. There are two effective typhoid vaccines in the U.S. (oral and injectable) that last 2-5 years.

Steps you can take to avoid typhoid fever during your trip abroad:

Typhoid and related illnesses are spread through food and water contamination. Your best bet is to avoid contaminated food and water, but how?

There are several steps you can take to reduce your risk of contracting typhoid fever:

  1. Practice good hygiene: Always wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water, particularly before preparing or eating food and after using the toilet.

  2. Be careful with food and water: Only eat food that has been cooked and served hot, and avoid raw fruits and vegetables that can't be peeled. Only drink water that has been boiled or treated with chlorine or iodine.

  3. Get vaccinated: The typhoid vaccine is available for both children and adults and can provide protection against the disease.

  4. Be aware of high-risk areas: If you are traveling to a country where typhoid fever is common, take extra precautions to avoid contaminated food and water.

  5. Stay away from infected people: If you know someone who has typhoid fever, avoid close contact with them.

  6. Cook food properly: Cook meat, fish and eggs well before eating, avoid raw or undercooked food.

By following these steps, you can reduce your risk of contracting typhoid fever and protect yourself and your loved ones from this serious illness.


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