Untreated, typhoid can cause serious complications that can prove fatal. It is a bacterial infection that spreads throughout the body and can affect many organs. It’s highly contagious and the infection is passed out of the body through faeces and, in rare cases, urine. It can be spread through contaminated food or water, either because of poor hygiene or through environmental conditions, such as vegetables that have been fertilised with infected waste, or seafood that has been near a contaminated water source.
NB Some countries that do not have the infection may require a certificate of vaccination before they allow you to travel, so check their requirements beforehand.
Typhoid is common in areas of poor sanitation and limited access to clean water – usually parts of Asia, Africa and South America. Children are particularly susceptible.
Vaccines do not offer 100% protection, so if you are travelling to affected areas, only drink bottled water (including ice cubes) and avoid foods that may be contaminated.
- Extremely high temperature
- Stomach pains
- Constipation or diarrhoea
Treatment must be sought as soon as possible. If caught early, it can be treated at home with a course of antibiotics. More serious cases will need to be hospitalised for stronger antibiotic treatment.
Without treatment, there’s a high chance the condition will prove fatal.