Before you travel to a country where S. Typhi is common, consult your doctor or a travel clinic to discuss vaccination against the disease. The vaccine will provide some protection against typhoid fever (it is about 50 to 55 per cent effective). The vaccine is recommended for the following people:
- Travelers who will have prolonged exposure to contaminated food and water, especially in regions with higher rates of typhoid fever.
- People living in the same house as a typhoid carrier, or who have sexual contact with a typhoid carrier
- People who may be exposed to the bacteria at work, e.g. laboratory workers
Vaccination is not routinely recommended for short-term travel to resorts in these areas:
- Central and South America
- Middle Easttyphoid vaccination is not necessary for people living in Canada.
Routine Precautions during travel:
Anyone who travels to a country where typhoid fever is common, including Canadian immigrants returning to their country of origin, is at risk of becoming infected with S. Typhi. It is important to practice careful hand washing and be aware of the foods you eat and where you buy them.
The following tips can help you avoid infection:
- Wash your hands with clean water after using the toilet, before preparing food or drink and before eating
- Drinking water must be bottled (be careful to buy it from a reputable outlet) or boiled
- Do not have drinks served with ice unless you are certain the ice was made from bottled or boiled water
- Do no eat raw fruits and vegetables unless you can peel them yourself
- Do not consume raw or undercooked fish or shellfish, especially oysters. You can tell food is safe when it is served hot and steaming
- Do not eat food from street vendors
- Do not consume unpasteurized dairy products (milk, cheese, yogurt)