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Typhoid

Introduction

Typhoid is spread mainly through food and water and can cause fever, headache, confusion, abdominal pain and constipation.

Recommendations for Travellers

Prevention is focused on food and water precautions and practising meticulous hand and personal hygiene to reduce the risk of typhoid infection.

Detailed risk management advice can be found on the following pages:

Vaccination

Various vaccines that protect against typhoid are available: Typhim Vi and an oral preparation (3 capsules) called Vivotif. The vaccines offer some protection for three years, but do not protect against para-typhoid fever. Typhoid vaccines do not confer complete protection so preventative measures as above are very important even when fully vaccinated.

VATIM combines typhoid with hepatitis A. Individuals should consider being vaccinated if they are travelling to a country where typhoid fever is more common and where they will be unable to take sufficient care with food and drink.

Overview of Disease

The disease is caused by the bacteria Salmonella Typhi and Salmonella Paratyphi A, B or C. Typhoid is transmitted by food and drink that has been contaminated with human faeces or urine (faecal-oral route).

Typhoid can be found throughout the world but it is more common in countries where water or food supplies are liable to be contaminated with human excreta. Areas of highest risk to travellers are found in the Indian subcontinent and South Asia. Risk to travellers isĀ  generally lower in the rest of Asia, Africa and South and Central America.

The Illness

Typhoid causes systemic infection which may present as fever, headache, confusion and vague abdominal pain. Constipation is common in adults. Salmonella Paratyphi causes a milder illness than that of Salmonella Typhi.

Treatment

Treatment with antibiotics is usually required. Medical attention should be sought for any feverish illness experienced whilst travelling abroad.

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