Typhoid fever is a bacterial infection that is spread by food and water contaminated with the bacteria Salmonella typhi. If left untreated it can cause internal bleeding in the digestive tract, severe abdominal pain, perforation of the colon, organ failure and death. Across the world there are approximately 15 million cases of typhoid, half a million of these are fatal.
Symptoms of typhoid fever usually develop seven to fourteen days after infection. Treatment with antibiotics can be given and symptoms should improve within five days. If left untreated complications such as bowel perforation and sepsis can occur. Symptoms include:
Loss of Appetite, Constipation or Diarrhoea
Countries at risk
Typhoid is found worldwide but is more common in areas where there is poor sanitation, and low standards of personal and food hygiene. High risk areas include the Indian subcontinent, Africa, South and South East Asia, Central and South America, the Middle East and Eastern Europe.
Advice for travellers
Typhoid is very contagious and is spread by eating and drinking contaminated food and water. Poor sanitation and poor hand hygiene aid transmission. By following basic precautions you can prevent yourself from catching typhoid.
Only drink water that has been recently boiled, or drink from a bottle that is properly sealed.
Avoid ice cream and don't have ice in your drinks
Avoid uncooked fruits and vegetables unless you have washed them in safe water or peeled them yourself
Avoid shellfish, seafood or salad. Ensure food is freshly cooked and served hot.
Follow good personal hygiene and hand washing rules.
Vaccination is recommended if you are travelling to parts of the world where the infection is common. It is strongly recommended if you will be staying or working with local people or staying for prolonged periods in areas of poor sanitation and food hygiene. There are two vaccines available:
• Typhim Vi vaccine- single dose
• Vivotif Ty21a vaccine- given as three capsules to be taken on alternate days.
The vaccine should ideally be given one month before travel, although it can be given closer to your travel date.
Number of doses
Over 2 years:
Every 3 years
Meningitis ACWY For Hajj/Umrah
Meningitis symptoms can develop quickly and they can be difficult to spot as they as similar to symptoms of flu. Infection with meningitis is an emergency and requires admission into a hospital where you will be given antibiotics. All pilgrims to Saudi Arabia for Hajj or Umrah are required to show proof of vaccination in the last three years against meningitis ACWY.
Vaccination is required at least 10 days before you are due to travel and you will also receive a certificate as part of your vaccination.