Typhoid fever

typhoid fever klm health services

Typhoid fever is contagious disease. People get it from a bacterium and it mainly causes intestinal complaints. A vaccination helps you to prevent it.

How do you catch typhoid fever?

Typhoid fever is caused by food or drink contaminated by the bacterium Salmonella typhi. This pathogen occurs only in humans. The likelihood of catching typhoid fever is greatest in countries where standards of hygiene are poor, and sewage systems and drinking water provisions are inferior. The supervision of food preparation is often also below standard in these countries. People who carry the bacteria can contaminate food and drinks while preparing meals. Raw fruits and vegetables, raw shellfish and uncooked milk or cream are well-known sources.

Where does it occur?

Typhoid fever is most common in India, Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh, parts of Southeast Asia, and the Middle East. There is also a chance of catching it in African and South American countries, although it’s less likely than in Asia.

What are the symptoms?

Usually between 8 and 14 days after being infected you can expect symptoms such as:

  • a rising fever
  • headache
  • tiredness
  • nausea
  • stomachache
  • coughing (rare)

Usually, you will suffer from constipation, which can, after a while, turn to diarrhoea. You could also suffer from diminished awareness. The seriousness varies from person to person. If left untreated, it could lead to complications, particularly intestinal bleeding and perforation. You can also get inflammation in other parts of your body, but this is much less common. Typhoid fever responds well to antibiotics, but you should start taking them as soon as possible.

How can you avoid catching typhoid fever?

Vaccination is possible at KLM Health Services and consists of one jab. Vaccination will give you 70% protection against the disease. The protection given by the vaccination will last for three years. However, even then it is important that you follow general hygiene guidelines:

  • Do not drink water from the tap. Use water from dense, unopened bottles.
  • Do not use ice cubes or milk products such as ice cream or yogurt drink.
  • Do not eat raw vegetables, salads or unpeeled fruit. Peel fruit yourself.
  • Only eat well-cooked or well-cooked meat, fish or seafood.
  • Only eat freshly cooked or baked (fully cooked) foods.

For more information see our travel tips or information per region.