Typhoid - How can it be prevented?

Two basic actions can protect you from typhoid:

  • Avoid risky food and drink
  • Vaccinate yourself against typhoid fever

There are vaccines available to help prevent people from contracting typhoid. These vaccines are recommended for all travellers going to areas where there is an increased risk of exposure to Salmonella typhi, especially if you’re planning to visit high risk areas in Asia, Africa, the Caribbean, and Central and South America.2

Watching what you eat and drink is as important as being vaccinated as vaccinations do not give 100% protection. 1,2  Some recommendations to lower the risk of infection include:3

  • eating food that is still hot when it is served
  • avoiding food kept at room temperature for several hours
  • avoiding uncooked food, including seafood, salads and fruit that cannot be peeled
  • thoroughly boiling or cooking food and hot drinks (tea, coffee, cocoa)
  • wine, beer, fizzy drinks, bottled water or packaged fruit juices are usually safe to drink
  • only using bottled water (the seal must be intact) to drink and brush teeth
  • not putting ice in drinks unless you know it’s from safe water
  • boil milk before you drink it
  • ice cream can cause illness. If in doubt, avoid it
  • be sure that meals bought from street vendors are thoroughly cooked in your presence and do not contain any uncooked foods

An easy way to remember what to avoid is: if you can’t boil it, cook it or peel it — forget it.3

If you are travelling to Asia, Africa, the Caribbean, and Central and South America you should talk to your doctor or travel medicine specialist 6-8 weeks before you plan to travel.4

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