Typhoid is caused by Salmonella bacteria. The symptoms are usually relatively mild: fever, constipation (sometimes diarrhoea) and drowsiness. However, in some cases serious, potentially fatal, complications can occur.


Where is this disease found?

Each year around seventeen million people are infected by Salmonella. Approximately 600,000 cases prove fatal. Most cases of the disease and most deaths occur in developing countries.


What are the symptoms of the disease?

The first symptoms appear within six to thirty days after infection. People with typhoid suffer from fever, headache and loss of appetite. They feel weak and are more likely to suffer from constipation than diarrhoea. Patients can also become drowsy or less alert. Serious complications such as intestinal perforation or pneumonia can occur nine days after the onset of the first symptoms. At this stage the prospect of recovery is very poor. Children under the age of two who contract the disease often do not exhibit many symptoms and may not appear to be very ill, which means parents need to be extra alert.


How is this disease contracted?

Both patients suffering from typhoid and carriers of Salmonella spread the bacteria: it can pass from urine and faeces into drinking water. Persons who drink contaminated water or who eat food washed with such water are at a high risk of contracting the disease.


What action should you take?

A Typhoid vaccine may be recommended depending upon your proposed destination, the duration of your trip and the state of your health. Vaccines can be given from the age of two upwards. In addition, high standards of personal hygiene are very important in preventing infection.

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Zimmermanweg 7
3015 CP Rotterdam
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(Next to main entrance Erasmus MC)

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