The initial symptoms tend to be:
- Fever – gradually increasing.
- Headache in 90%
- Dry Cough
These symptoms may be followed by:
- Pains in The Abdomen
- Constipation or Diarrhoea
Complications occur in 10 to 15% of people and include Brain infection, Intestinal Bleeding or Perforation of The Intestine.
How is Typhoid Spread?
The Typhoid bacteria is found in the faeces of infected people. The bacteria is therefore spread via contaminated food and drink. Infection is most common in developing countries where sanitation may be poor.
Around 5% of people who have been infected with Typhoid become long term carriers. These “Chronic Carriers” have no symptoms.
The problem with Typhoid
- The incubation period is long enough for doctors to not necessarily “think” of Typhoid a week or two after returning to Australia.
- The symptoms are quite variable. Fever, headache and dry cough are more likely to be due to a normal respiratory virus.
- The infection may not be easy to confirm. “Traditional” culturing of the bacteria from blood, urine or faeces samples is still the best way to diagnose Typhoid.
- The infection may be fatal.
- Chronic Carriers may unwittingly spread Typhoid within Australia. Around 10% of cases of Typhoid in Australia are acquired from within Australia. Typhus Mary famously caused over 1500 cases of Typhoid within The USA.
- The vaccination is approximately 75% effective. Typhoid must be considered even in people who have been vaccinated.
- The vaccination only lasts 3 years.
Typhoid Vaccine Snippet
You’ll need a one-off vaccine which takes up to 4 weeks to work.
The Typhoid Vaccine lasts for 3 years.
What else can I do to reduce the risk of Typhoid?
- Drink bottled or boiled water only.
- Ice in drinks may also be high risk.
- Avoid undercooked shellfish.
- Avoid cold meats and salads.