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Do I Need a Typhoid Immunization?

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  • Written By: Erica Stratton
  • Edited By: Lauren Fritsky
  • Last Modified Date: 30 August 2016
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    Conjecture Corporation
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You will need a typhoid immunization if you are going to be in places where there is a possibility of you catching the disease. This is most often the case when you'll be traveling to a country where typhoid is common. It may also be a possibility if you are going to be around someone who has been exposed to the disease, or if you are someone who works with the disease in a laboratory.

Typhoid is carried only by humans. It is spread through exposure to the urine or feces of an infected person. For this reason, it is common in countries where there is not a lot of public sanitation and human waste can easily get into the water supply. Places where hand washing is not the cultural norm are also places where typhoid is common. The typhoid germs are carried on the hands to everything an infected person touches, such as food or water, and are then ingested by the next person.

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You should get a typhoid immunization before visiting several countries. These include Africa, Asia, and Latin America. The immunization should be obtained at least a week in advance of travel. If you are going to be traveling to these countries regularly, you will need to renew your typhoid immunization every five years. You will also need a typhoid immunization if you are going to be around someone who carries the disease. Scientists and doctors who work with the disease will also need vaccinations to keep themselves safe.

Even though a typhoid immunization can lessen the chances of you contracting the disease, it is not fail-safe. While you are in a country where you are at risk, you will still need to take precautions to avoid contracting the disease. Being careful about what you eat and drink, as well as keeping informed about typhoid outbreaks in the places you will visit, are ways that you can lessen the risk.

A typhoid immunization is typically taken in pill form. You will need to take four doses at specified times, and the amount will vary by person. Between doses, you will need to refrigerate the capsules. Like most pills, it is recommended that you take them with food. Like many medications, there may be complications if you are a senior citizen or if you are allergic to certain medications, and you will need to discuss these risks with your doctor beforehand.

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