What is typhoid fever?
Typhoid fever is a serious disease spread by contaminated food and water. Symptoms of typhoid include lasting high fevers, weakness, stomach pains, headache, and loss of appetite. Some patients have constipation, and some have a rash. Internal bleeding and death can occur but are rare.
Who is at risk?
Travelers to Asia, Africa, and Latin America are especially at risk, and the highest risk for typhoid is in south Asia.
What can travelers do to prevent typhoid fever?
Get vaccinated for typhoid
- This could be pills or a shot, and your travel medicine provider will help you decide which one is best for you.
- Typhoid vaccine is only 50%-80% effective, so you should still be careful about what you eat and drink.
Eat and drink safe foods and beverages
Typhoid fever is spread by contaminated food and water. For more information, see Food and Water Safety.
Practice hygiene and cleanliness
- Wash your hands often.
- If soap and water aren’t available, clean your hands with hand sanitizer (containing at least 60% alcohol).
- Don’t touch your eyes, nose, or mouth. If you need to touch your face, make sure your hands are clean.
- Try to avoid close contact, such as kissing, hugging, or sharing eating utensils or cups with people who are sick.
Page reviewed on: Mar 09, 2017
Page reviewed by: Jessie L. Leyse, MD