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Typhoid

Typhoid

Typhoid fever is a life-threatening illness caused by the bacterium Salmonella Typhi. An estimated 5,700 cases occur each year in the United States.  Most cases (up to 75%) are acquired while traveling internationally. Typhoid fever is still common in the developing world, where it affects about 21.5 million people each year.

Persons with typhoid fever usually have a sustained fever as high as 103° to 104° F (39° to 40° C). They may also feel weak, or have stomach pains, headache, or loss of appetite. In some cases, patients have a rash of flat, rose-colored spots. The only way to know for sure if an illness is typhoid fever is to have samples of stool or blood tested for the presence of Salmonella Typhi.

CDC recommends typhoid vaccine for travelers to areas where there is an increased risk of exposure to S. enterica serotype Typhi. Two typhoid vaccines are available in the United States:

  • Vi capsular polysaccharide vaccine (ViCPS) (Typhim Vi, manufactured by Sanofi Pasteur) for intramuscular use
  • Oral live attenuated vaccine (Vivotif, manufactured from the Ty21a strain of serotypeTyphi by PaxVax)

Both typhoid vaccines protect 50%–80% of recipients; travelers should be reminded that typhoid immunization is not 100% effective, and typhoid fever could still occur. Available typhoid vaccines offer no protection against paratyphoid fever.

Remember that you will need to complete your vaccination at least 1-2 weeks (dependent upon vaccine type) before you travel so that the vaccine has time to take effect. Typhoid vaccines lose effectiveness after several years; if you were vaccinated in the past, check with your doctor to see if it is time for a booster vaccination. Taking antibiotics will not prevent typhoid fever; they only help treat it.

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There are emergency procedures in place for parts of world due to weather.

Get the latest information on emergency prescription refills and PCM referral waivers. 

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