Typhoid Fever

Medical Term: Typhoid fever   

Danger Zone: Remote areas including Asia, Africa, and South America, regions with poor sanitation.

Transmission: Typhoid fever is transmitted mostly through contaminated food or beverages.

What is it: An illness caused by ingesting the bacterium salmonella typhi.

Symptoms: Typhoid fever symptoms include chills, extreme fever, headache, loss of appetite, dizziness, fatigue, profuse sweating, nausea, and stomach pain.

Prevention: Typhoid vaccination, extreme care, and sanitation in preparing food and beverages.

Fatal: Rare, and only if completely untreated by antibiotics.

Typhoid fever is a food-borne bacterial infection which can be contracted anywhere, but is most common where sanitation is poor, like in remote areas or developing nations. Two versions of typhoid vaccine are available, so if you are visiting areas like this, consult a medical professional to assess whether you need an immunization.

As with all food-borne infections, the most important prevention is your careful vigilance in what you consume in areas where typhoid fever risk is high.

-Avoid roadside food and beverage stands.

-Drink and brush your teeth with factory bottled water or other sealed beverages, or check that your resort provides purified tap water.

-In more remote areas, boil and/or treat water with proper bleach or iodine purification chemicals. Always use these as directed.

-Avoid dairy products.

-Wash and peel raw fruits and vegetables yourself, as they may have contaminated water on them.

-Avoid pudding, watermelon, lunch meat, and salads of all kinds.

Note: Always consult your doctor or another qualified medical professional for the best information about international travel vaccinations.

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