Where are you at risk of being infected with Typhus?
The most common way typhus is transmitted is through food or water that has been contaminated with the feces of infected people.
Most people can only infect others with typhus while they are ill, but some people (10%) can transmit the disease to others up to three months after they have recovered.
Two to five percent of patients become chronic carriers of the salmonella bacteria and can therefore infect others with typhus for the rest of their lives.
In which areas is Typhus found?
Typhus is seen throughout the world, but is widespread in areas with poor hygienic conditions.
Typhoid is most common in Asia (especially the Indian subcontinent), South America, Central America and Africa.
However, outbreaks can occur all over the world, and the risk of typhus in individual countries can therefore change.
What symptoms can be seen in Typhus?
The Salmonella bacteria that cause typhoid cause infection in the gut and can then enter the blood and cause blood poisoning.
The first symptoms of typhus are usually felt seven to fourteen days after being infected. However, it may take longer.
Common typhoid symptoms include:
Severe typhoid symptoms:
neurological symptoms such as confusion
What treatment is available for Typhus?
Typhoid treatment often takes place in hospital and includes antibiotics and fluids.
Most often, typhus treatment lasts ten to fourteen days.
It is important that typhus treatment is started as soon as possible, and that you are treated in isolation from other patients, as the disease is highly contagious.
Without typhus treatment, the disease has a mortality rate of 10–20 %.
How is typhus prevented?
Typhoid prevention, including a typhoid vaccine, which is recommended for travelers in risk areas.
The same precautions apply to this as for traveller's diarrhoea:
Foods and drinks that should be avoided as they may be contaminated:
salads, fruits and vegetables that are not prepared
food, e.g. buffet, that has been left outside without being covered
unpasteurized dairy products
food containing raw eggs
raw or undercooked meat, fish or shellfish, including oysters
food from street kitchens
ice cream and ice cubes
How do you get vaccinated against Typhoid?
The duration of the typhoid vaccine is three years after just one dose, and to be covered from the beginning of your trip, you should be vaccinated no later than 10-14 days before departure.