The Importance of a Typhoid Vaccination

Protect yourself while on vacation with a typhoid vaccination. When one goes on vacation to an exotic new place the last thing on their mind is catching a disease that is spread by ingesting food or water that is tainted by infected feces! The word “yikes” is rarely used. We can all agree that its usage here is appropriate.



The food and water that carries this disease is not tainted in public. If it were you would run for the hills. One must prepare for the worst when expecting the best. And when you are on vacation, you expect the very best. Even if you are “roughing it” the last thing you want is to be laid up with such a devastating illness. Risks are risks, but when protection is guaranteed with something as accessible as a simple typhoid vaccination, there is no excuse to gamble with your good health.

There are many countries in the world that are still plagued by this awful scourge. Typhoid fever is still a global health issue, mainly in South Asia, parts of South East Asia, the Middle East, Central and South America, and Africa. A typhoid vaccination is recommended before travel to any of these areas.

Let’s break it down. What exactly is typhoid fever? It is a severe disease passed from person to person through poor hygiene. The bacterium’s proper name salmonella typhi. Individuals who carry the disease and handle food are one of the main transmitters. The bacteria must be ingested to catch the disease.

The symptoms of typhoid fever include a prolonged high fever often with headache, coughing and loss of appetite. Diarrhea may be present, as well. These days typhoid fever is treated with antibiotics, before this the death rate was around twenty percent for people who caught the disease. Although cases of typhoid fever are relatively rare in the United States, there are still over 400 cases a year reported here. Out of these cases, most are from people who catch the disease while on vacation overseas.

A typhoid vaccine is readily available at a certified travel clinic. Your doctor will be able to recommend one depending on your itinerary. Discuss all the countries and areas that you plan to travel to with your doctor before jetting off.

There are currently two different vaccines to prevent typhoid fever. One is the inactive version wherein the virus is killed, and the live version where the virus is weakened. The inactive is received as an inoculation-or shot. The live is administered orally.


For the inactivated typhoid vaccination one dose provides protection. The shot should be administered two weeks before travel. A booster shot is needed every two years if still at risk.

The live version is different. Four doses by mouth are given two days apart, with the last dose being at least one week prior to travel. A booster vaccination is needed every five years for those still at risk.