Typhoid isn’t a problem in Australia (for the most part), but that doesn’t mean its something to be ignored entirely. Typhoid is still a huge problem in many areas around the world, and particularly poorer and more undeveloped nations, and these countries can be considered favourite places for a lot of Australian’s to travel due to cheap airfares and their low cost of living. In these countries, typhoid fever spreads very easily through food and water contaminated with sewage, and although this might sound like something that is unlikely to happen – trust us, it’s not. In this article, we take a look at what you might need to consider if you’re serious about typhoid prevention.
What happens to a person infected with typhoid?
After contracting typhoid, the symptoms of an infected person will steadily worsen over the course of several weeks. The first week usually involves a fever developing that increases in severity over the course of a day and then falls by morning, with daytimes often accompanied by unpleasant symptoms like severe headaches, stomach pain, constipation and/or diarrhoea, exhaustion, loss of appetite and often breakouts of nasty rashes.
The following week will see the fever remain constant, as there will be no more relief found through drops in temperature. Established symptoms, such as constipation and diarrhoea, will worsen and infected people will also notice their stomach swell. Symptoms worsen again in the third week, and confusion can develop in patients as well as internal bleeding and blood infections. During the fourth week the patient will either show signs of recovery or their symptoms will further worsen, and severe complications can cause permanent issues. Even those who recover will continue to carry the disease and infect those around them, so typhoid is very much something that people carry indefinitely.
Thankfully, much of this unpleasantness can be avoided with the application of the typhoid vaccination, which is the most popular way to prevent outbreaks among holidaymakers. Nonetheless, this important vaccine is often dismissed by people only “travelling for a few weeks to a resort,” as typhoid still carries strong connotations with seasoned travellers – which is far from the case.
Simple ways you can more easily prevent typhoid
There are other ways to prevent typhoid apart from the typhoid vaccine if someone were to find themselves infected unexpectedly. If typhoid is detected, antibiotics can help manage the condition but these are not necessarily the easiest to locate overseas. Instead, prevention is the best cure (as is the case with most other communicable diseases).
In addition to taking the typhoid vaccine before you head overseas, common sense hygiene will be your most valuable asset. Basically, don’t drink water from a tap (if you have to, boil it first), avoid eating raw or peeled fruits and vegetables (this includes salads) and don’t eat food sold by street food vendors, no matter how good it looks or smells. It is also important that you always wash your hands after going to the bathroom.
Planning a trip away soon?
Typhoid is far from a pleasant experience and there is a very real chance of a traveller developing it while traveling overseas. Although a vaccine might seem like an inconvenient option for some people, it is by far the best way to prevent contracting typhoid and can also give you much better peace of mind while you travel.