Protecting you from contaminated foods and water

Typhoid fever is a highly contagious and potentially lethal disease, which spreads via contaminated foods and water. As typhoid bacteria are primarily found in faeces, the infection is particularly common in regions with poor sanitation. The most common source of infection is contaminated water.

Common symptoms of typhoid fever include a high temperature, headaches, nausea, muscle pain, digestion problems such as constipation or diarrhoea, tiredness and confusion. Some patients also experience a rash.

Typhoid is uncommon in the UK and most European countries. The infection is known to occur in large parts of the African continent, Central America, the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent. It is also endemic to regions in South America as well as Asia. Most people who develop the infection contract it while visiting relatives in, India or Pakistan.

The typhoid vaccine is very effective at preventing the illness. If you are travelling to an area with a high risk of typhoid and hepatitis A, we can offer a combined vaccination course which covers both conditions.

Health Plus Pharmacy travel clinics provide the typhoid injection. It is suitable for children from the age of two and provides protection for three years. The vaccine consists of one single dose, which should be administered two weeks before entering a country with a high risk of typhoid.

Before travelling, always ensure you are aware of the typhoid risk at your travel destination.

Health Plus Pharmacy make the typhoid vaccinations convenient and accessible for all the community in Cardiff and Pontypool. Book an appointment with your local Health Plus Pharmacist to keep you safe.

Check the risks of a country you’re travelling to on the TravelHealthPro website

About the Typhoid vaccine

Price: £32 per dose

Doses per course: 1

Price per course: £32

Course: The course consists of one dose.

When to get vaccinated:  At least two weeks before travel. It can also be given closer to you travel date but this leaves you at a greater risk of contracting the disease.

Course: The typhoid vaccination course consists of one dose.

Boosters: The typhoid vaccine protects you for three years. After that, you will need a booster if you travel to a risk area.

How it is given: The typhoid injection is given in the upper arm.

Side effects: Side effects of the vaccine can include fever, soreness at the injection site and digestive problems.

Children: The typhoid vaccine is suitable for children over the age of two.

Additional precautions: In addition to getting vaccinated, you need to practise food safety.

Risk if you contract typhoid: Typhoid causes similar symptoms as food poisoning. If it is not immediately diagnosed and treated it can lead to permanent disabilities or death.

About the typhoid vaccination

The typhoid vaccine is used to prevent an infection prior to travelling to a high risk area. The vaccines work by stimulating your body to create antibodies (infection-fighting proteins) that prevent you getting ill if you become infected with the typhoid bacteria.

The vaccine we use to immunise against typhoid is Typhim Vi® which provides protection against infectious diseases.

This vaccine helps to protect adults and children who are aged 2 years and over against typhoid fever. It may not be effective in children under 2.

When the vaccine is given to you or your child, the body’s natural defences will produce protection against typhoid fever.

This vaccine will only protect against typhoid fever. It will not work against any other disease, such as paratyphoid fever or food poisoning. It cannot cause typhoid fever.

Patient information leaflet Typhim Vi® (typhoid vaccination)

Typhoid vaccination schedule

The injectable typhoid vaccine is given as a single injection into your upper arm or thigh. It should be given at least two weeks before you travel, ideally one month before.

The typhoid vaccine is given as injections into your upper arm.

Please book early before you travel, to ensure that you get the typhoid vaccination.

How effective is the typhoid vaccination

The vaccine is fairly effective in preventing typhoid (ranging from 50-80 percent), you should still heed the warning “boil it, peel it or forget it.” The typhoid vaccine protects you for 3 years.

Who should have the typhoid vaccination

Typhoid vaccination is recommended for anyone planning to travel to parts of the world where typhoid fever is widespread.

The areas with the highest rates of typhoid fever are:

  • the Indian subcontinent
  • Africa
  • South and Southeast Asia
  • South America

It’s important to get vaccinated against typhoid fever if you’re travelling to a high risk area because some strains of the typhoid bacteria are becoming resistant to antibiotics.

Vaccination is particularly important if you’re planning to live or work closely with local people.

Use the TravelHealthPro website to find out if there’s a risk of typhoid in the country you’re travelling to

Who cannot have the typhoid vaccine

Do not use this vaccine if you or your child is:

  • allergic (hypersensitive) to Typhim Vi or any of its ingredients. (see section 6 for a list of ingredients).
  • allergic (hypersensitive) to formaldehyde or casein, which are used during vaccine production and may be present in small amounts.
  • ill with a high temperature. The vaccination will be delayed until you/your child have recovered.

Things to tell us before you have the typhoid vaccine

  • Tell us if you or your child has:
  • a blood disorder such as haemophilia (a condition where you bruise or bleed easily) because bleeding may occur at the injection site.
  • a poor or reduced immune system, due to:
    • corticosteroids, cytotoxic drugs, radiotherapy or any other treatment that weakens the immune system. The doctor or nurse may wait until the course of treatment has finished.
    • HIV infection or any disease that weakens the immune system. The vaccine may not protect as well as it protects people with normal immune systems.

Fainting can occur (mostly in adolescents) following, or even before, any needle injection. Therefore tell your doctor or nurse if you or your child fainted with a previous injection.

Receiving other vaccines or medicines

The typhoid vaccine can generally be given at the same time as other vaccines provided that they are given in different parts of the body (e.g. the other arm or leg) and are not mixed in the same syringe.

This vaccine can be given at the same time as other common vaccines including:

  • diphtheria
  • hepatitis A
  • hepatitis B
  • meningitis A + C
  • poliomyelitis
  • rabies (prepared on Vero cells)
  • tetanus
  • yellow fever

Tell your doctor, nurse or pharmacist if you or your child are taking or have recently taken any other medicines, including medicines obtained without a prescription.

Extra precautions when travelling abroad

Whether you have been vaccinated against typhoid or not, it’s important to take basic precautions when travelling in countries where typhoid fever is present.

  • avoid eating raw vegetables and fruit, especially if they have been cut
  • wash hands frequently, especially before preparing food and eating
  • stick to drinking bottled or boiled water in order to prevent typhoid, as the most common source of infection is contaminated water

The typhoid vaccine is very effective at preventing the illness. If you are travelling to an area with a high risk of typhoid and hepatitis A, we can offer a combined vaccination course which covers both conditions.

Travel advice

When travelling to a foreign country, it’s a good idea to make a list of relevant contact details and telephone numbers in case of an emergency.

You can get travel information and advice for different countries on:

Avoiding travel to a typhoid risk area

If you have a contraindication to the typhoid vaccine or the risk of serious side effects is high, and there is a significant risk of contracting typhoid on your trip you are likely to be advised to cancel or change your travel plans. Healthcare practitioners are not obliged to administer typhoid vaccine if they believe it unsafe to do so, or it is not required for your trip. If you have any medical conditions, it is best to seek travel advice before you book your trip.

If you have recently received the typhoid vaccine and feel unwell please contact your GP or the 111 service if your GP practice is closed.

In a medical emergency, when someone is seriously ill and their life is at risk, dial 999.

Which countries are affected by typhoid?

The disease is common in parts of the world where there is less access to clean water and sanitation is poor. This includes most countries in Asia, Central and South America and Africa (see map)

Map displaying the burden of typhoid fever in low-income and middle-income countries

Map adapted from Magasale V, et al. Burden of typhoid fever in low-income and middle-income countries: a systematic, literature-based update with risk-factor adjustment. Lancet Glob Health. 2014

What is typhoid and how do you get it?

Typhoid fever is a bacterial infection that can spread throughout the body, affecting many organs. Without prompt treatment, it can cause serious complications and can be fatal.

It’s caused by a bacterium called Salmonella typhi, which is related to the bacteria that cause salmonella food poisoning.

Typhoid fever is highly contagious. An infected person can pass the bacteria out of their body in their poo or, less commonly, in their pee.

If someone else eats food or drinks water that’s been contaminated with a small amount of infected poo or pee, they can become infected with the bacteria and develop typhoid fever.

How serious is typhoid?

If caught and treated early, patients can get treated at home and be back not normal in under two weeks. However, if the patient goes for more than a few weeks untreated, complications can occur leading – in severe cases – to bleeding and perforation of the bowel, or damage to the brain that can affect mood and behaviour.

What are the symptoms of typhoid?

The main symptoms of typhoid fever are:

  • a persistent high temperature that gradually increases each day
  • headache
  • general aches and pains
  • extreme tiredness (fatigue)
  • cough
  • constipation

As the infection progresses, you may lose your appetite, feel sick, and have a tummy ache and diarrhoea. Some people may develop a rash.

If typhoid fever isn’t treated, the symptoms will continue to get worse over the following weeks and the risk of developing potentially fatal complications will increase.

Treatment for typhoid

Typhoid fever requires prompt treatment with antibiotics. Where antibiotics are available, less than 1% of people with typhoid die from the disease.

If typhoid fever is diagnosed early, the infection is likely to be mild and can usually be treated at home with a 7- to 14-day course of antibiotic tablets.

More severe typhoid fever usually requires admission to hospital so antibiotic injections can be given.

With prompt antibiotic treatment, most people will start to feel better within a few days and serious complications are very rare.

Deaths from typhoid fever are now virtually unheard of in the UK.

If typhoid fever isn’t treated, it’s estimated that up to 1 in 5 people with the condition will die.

Some of those who survive will have complications caused by the infection.

Booster doses of the typhoid vaccination

Booster vaccinations are recommended every 3 years if you continue to be at risk of infection with typhoid bacteria.

What should I do if I think a family member might have typhoid?

Typhoid fever requires prompt treatment with antibiotics. Where antibiotics are available, less than 1% of people with typhoid die from the disease.

See your GP as soon as possible if you have symptoms of typhoid fever (even if you have been vaccinated against it), particularly if you have recently returned from travelling abroad.

It’s unlikely that your symptoms will be caused by typhoid fever, but it’s best to get them checked out in case you need treatment.

If you become ill while travelling abroad, you can get help by:

contacting a representative of the travel company you booked with

contacting your travel insurer

contacting the British consulate in the area you’re visiting or, if you’re feeling very ill, the local emergency services

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) provides travel advice by country  and the contact details of all the British consulates and embassies in foreign countries can be found on GOV.UK.

Before you travel, it’s a good idea to make a list of relevant contact details and telephone numbers in case of an emergency.

How to reduce your risk of typhoid

Two basic actions can protect you:

  • Get vaccinated against typhoid fever. Visit your doctor or a travel clinic at least 2 weeks before traveling to discuss your options.
  • Practice safe eating and drinking habits. Carefully selecting what you eat and drink when you travel is important because typhoid fever vaccines do not work 100% of the time. Safe eating and drinking will also help protect you from other illnesses, including travelers’ diarrhea, cholera, dysentery, and hepatitis A.

When you travel to areas of risk, remember to “Boil it, cook it, peel it, or forget it.”

  • Buy bottled water or bring local water to a rolling boil for 1 minute before you drink it. Bottled carbonated water is safer than uncarbonated water.
  • Ask for drinks without ice, unless the ice is made from bottled or boiled water. Avoid popsicles and flavored ices that may have been made with contaminated water.
  • Eat foods that have been thoroughly cooked and are still hot and steaming.
  • Avoid raw vegetables and fruits that cannot be peeled. Lettuce can remain contaminated even after it is washed.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water before eating.
  • Avoid foods and beverages from street vendors unless steaming hot.

What are the side effects of the typhoid?

After having the typhoid fever vaccine, some people have temporary soreness, redness, swelling or hardness at the injection site.

About 1 in every 100 people have a high temperature.

Less common side effects include:

  • abdominal pain
  • headache
  • feeling sick
  • diarrhoea

Severe reactions are rare from the typhoid vaccines.

Patient information leaflet Typhim Vi (typhoid vaccination)

Monitoring safety of vaccines

In the UK, the safety of vaccines is monitored through the Yellow Card Scheme regulated by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and the Commission on Human Medicines.

Most reactions reported through the Yellow Card Scheme have been minor, such as redness and swelling at the injection site, rashes, fever and vomiting.

Where can i get the typhoid vaccination near me?

You can get the typhoid vaccination and other travel vaccinations at your local Health Plus Pharmacy in Grangetown, Llandaff in Cardiff and Torfaenin Pontypool, Wales.

Please book early before you travel, to ensure that you get the typhoid vaccination.