Certain bacteria cause the infection. You get it through contact with fluids from the body of a person who is sick. Some people don’t get sick. They can still pass it to others. The bacteria also pass to you when you use food or drinks tainted with sewage.
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Typhoid is common in places with poor sanitation. The risk of getting sick is highest in parts of India, Africa, and Asia.
Risk is also higher if you have:
Symptoms range from mild to severe.
The doctor will ask about your symptoms. You will be asked about your health and travel history. A physical exam may point to typhoid. If needed, you may also have:
Care will start right away, even if your test results aren’t ready. Antibiotics treat the infection. You may also need:
When you travel to places where typhoid is common:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
World Health Organization
Public Health Agency of Canada
Travel and Tourism—Government of Canada
Bhan MK, Bahl R, Bhatnagar S. Typhoid and paratyphoid fever. Lancet. 2005;366(9487):749-762.
Bui YG, Trépanier S, Milord F, et al. Cases of malaria, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever Among VFRs, Quebec (Canada). J Travel Med. 2011;18(6):373-378.
Enteric fever (typhoid and paratyphoid fever). EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T114546/Enteric-fever-typhoid-and-paratyphoid-fever . Updated February 5, 2018. Accessed May 24, 2018.
Johnson KJ, Gallagher NM, Mintz ED, et al. From the CDC: new country-specific recommendations for pre-travel typhoid vaccination. J Travel Med. 2011;18(6):430-433.
Typhoid fever. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/typhoid-fever/index.html. Updated July 18, 2016. Accessed May 24, 2018.
Typhoid fever. Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at: https://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/infectious-diseases/gram-negative-bacilli/typhoid-fever. Updated April 2018. Accessed May 24, 2018.
Typhoid VIS. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/vis/vis-statements/typhoid.html. Updated June 18, 2013. Accessed May 24, 2018.
Last reviewed May 2018 by David L. Horn, MD, FACP
Last Updated: 5/24/2018