Protect Yourself Before You Travel: Is a Typhoid Vaccine Necessary?
The bacteria that cause typhoid fever infect the gut and bloodstream. It is spread through person-to-person contact, and typically through the consumption of contaminated food or water. The bacteria are released from the infected person’s body in their faeces or, less frequently, their urine. If you plan to visit regions of the world where typhoid fever is prevalent, it is advised that you get vaccinated. Keep reading to learn more about the typhoid vaccine and how to get it at our pharmacy in Essex.
What are the symptoms of typhoid?
You may not feel ill for 1 to 3 weeks after contracting the infection. Therefore, symptoms may appear after you have returned home.
The primary symptoms of typhoid may include:
– A headache.
– General aches and pains.
– A high temperature (fever).
As the infection worsens, you can start to feel unwell (nausea), lose your appetite, and feel constipated. Small children may have diarrhoea, and some people might get a rash.
Typhoid fever symptoms may worsen over time, and potentially fatal complications may arise if it is left untreated.
Which countries do you need the typhoid vaccine for?
Although typhoid fever can be found anywhere in the world, it is more prevalent in places with poor sanitation and hygiene.
Areas at high risk include:
– South and Southeast Asia.
– The Indian subcontinent.
– South America.
Vaccination is strongly advised if you’re going to be living or working amongst locals, or if you’re going to spend a lot of time in regions where sanitation and food hygiene are likely to be poor.
Most UK residents who contract typhoid fever do so while travelling to Bangladesh, Pakistan, or India. Therefore, if you’re travelling to these countries, it’s crucial that you get the necessary vaccinations.
Typhoid vaccination is typically provided free of charge by GP offices through the NHS. The vaccine is also sold at private travel clinics for roughly £30.
Types of typhoid vaccine
In the UK, the following vaccines are available and offer protection against typhoid fever:
– Vi vaccine – given as a single injection.
– ViATIM – combined typhoid and hepatitis A injections, also available for people aged 15 or over. Protection against hepatitis A lasts 1 year.
– Ty21a vaccine – given as 3 capsules to take on alternate days.
How long is the typhoid vaccine good for?
The typhoid vaccine provides three years of immunity. The vaccines function by encouraging your body to produce antibodies. The antibodies are proteins that fight infections, hence keep you from getting sick if you come into contact with the typhoid bacterium.
However, neither typhoid vaccination is 100% reliable, so you should always exercise caution when eating food and drinking water while travelling.
Ty21a vaccine contains a live sample of Salmonella typhi bacteria hence it’s not recommended for those with compromised immune systems. This includes those with HIV and those undergoing certain types of treatment, such as chemotherapy. Additionally, it is typically not advised for children under the age of 5, but children can receive the Vi vaccination as early as age 2.
The risk of the Vi and Ty21a vaccinations to pregnant or nursing mothers is unknown. However, immunisation should be taken into consideration if there is a high risk of contracting typhoid fever.
The typhoid vaccine should usually be administered at least one month before travel. Though, it can also be administered closer to the departure date if necessary. Booster jabs are advised every three years if you continue to be at risk of contracting the typhoid bacterium.
Can you get typhoid after vaccination?
When travelling to regions where typhoid fever is prevalent, it’s critical to follow some basic safety precautions, whether you have received the typhoid vaccine or not.
– Avoid uncooked vegetables and fruits, unless you have washed them in safe water or peeled them yourself.
– Only drink boiled or bottled water from a bottle that was properly sealed.
– Avoid ice cream and don’t have ice in your drinks.
– Don’t eat shellfish, seafood and salads unless you’ve made them yourself.
How is typhoid treated?
Antibiotics can be used to treat typhoid. Early infection detection can be treated at home using tablets. However, people who experience complications must be hospitalised.
You should consult a doctor immediately if you experience a high temperature (fever) along with any of the symptoms mentioned while travelling (or have just returned from travelling). Ensure that you inform the healthcare provider where you have been travelling.
Where can I get the typhoid vaccine in Essex?
Visit or book your appointment with G.M. Graham Pharmacies today to get your typhoid vaccine in Essex.
This post was written on behalf of G.M. Graham Pharmacies by Pharmacy Mentor