Typhoid feverĀ is a potentially fatal infection that causes diarrhoea and a high temperature (fever) of 38C (100.4F) or over. It is spread through contact with human faeces (stools), usually as a result of poor sanitation and personal hygiene.

High risk areas: typhoid is found throughout the world, but it is more likely to occur in areas where there is poor sanitation and hygiene. In particular, risk areas include Africa, the Indian subcontinent, South and South East Asia, the Middle East, and Central and South America.

The typhoid fever vaccination is recommended for anyone who is travelling to a high risk area. In particular, it is recommended for people visiting the above areas who will:

  • be staying with, or visiting, the local population, or
  • have frequent, or prolonged, exposure to conditions where sanitation and food hygiene are likely to be poor.

The vaccine

Ideally, the typhoid vaccine should be given at least one month before you travel but, if necessary, it can be given closer to your travel date. The vaccine is not 100% effective, so you will still need to take precautions to avoid contaminated food or water, and pay careful attention to your personal hygiene.

A single injection of the vaccine protects against typhoid fever for about three years. A combined typhoid and hepatitis A vaccine is also available.

The typhoid fever vaccine is not suitable for infants who are under two years of age.