I learned how important vaccinations for travel are the hard way. I went backpacking trip with a few friends in 2008 where I got the infection with typhoid fever. It is a serious infection caused by the Salmonella typhi bacteria. I don’t care what they look like but they cause intestinal inflammation and ulceration which is very painful and leaves you very weak.
Salmonella typhi bacteria enter our body through contaminated food and make way to our blood stream by invading small intestine. It then moves to organs like liver where they reproduce and travel through bloodstream to gallbladder, biliary system, and the lymphatic tissue of the bowel. According to an estimate, typhoid fever affects over 13 million people every year and over 500,000 patients die of it worldwide.
If you are travelling to any exotic destination in Asia, Latin America or Africa then don’t miss typhoid vaccination for travel. Its bacteria can be lurking at the most unsuspecting places and catch you unaware. Once you catch the infection, treatment is long and there are chances of relapse which weakens you considerably.
Common Causes of Typhoid Fever
- Taking contaminated food or water.
- Close contact with patient with acute case of typhoid fever.
- Close contact with a person who has no symptoms but is a chronic carrier of the infection.
- If the person who is handling your food and water is carrying bacteria.
- Direct infection of gallbladder by Salmonella, through the hepatic duct. It may spread to other parts of the body through blood stream.
Some Common Symptoms
- Severe constipation followed by diarrhoea.
- Stomach pain and bloody stools.
- High fever especially in the evening.
- Weakness and chills.
- Constant fatigue.
- Slow heart rate.
Typhoid fever is not easily diagnosed especially in the initial stages. The patient is prescribed a special diet which will be difficult to follow if you are travelling and away from home.
Travel clinic of New York City is amongst the leading travel clinics that administer travel medicine and vaccinations for travel. For more information about their services please visit their website www.travelclinicnyc.com