The Typhoid Vaccine: What to Expect
A typhoid vaccine can protect you from typhoid fever. The CDC recommends this vaccine to patients if the destination countries are South Asia, Southeast Asia, India, and South America. Your doctor can speak to you about the options that you have. Here are the details that you should consider if you want to know what to expect when getting a typhoid vaccine.
The two forms of typhoid vaccine and their effectiveness
In the United States, there are two forms of vaccines against typhoid. A doctor will give an oral vaccine to individuals at least six years of age. The dose consists of four pills, and the patient should take the pills every other day. The series must finish a week before departure. Individuals at least two years of age can have the injectable vaccine. The doctor must give it at least two weeks before departure.
These vaccines are not 100% effective. Practicing good drinking and eating habits can help prevent typhoid infections. The shots tend to lose their effectiveness as time passes. The individual will need a booster every two years. Oral vaccines need a booster every five years. The doctor can help determine if there is a need for a booster if the patient has been vaccinated in the past.
The reason for vaccination
Individuals who have typhoid fever and those who are carriers can spread typhoid fever to other people. Consuming contaminated drinks or food will allow the bacteria to spread into the bloodstream. This disease is life-threatening. The symptoms include body weakness, high fever, and appetite loss. The high fever can last for weeks or even months if the individual does not get treatment.
The types of typhoid vaccine
A doctor can provide one of two types of vaccines against typhoid. Talking to the healthcare provider can help patients decide which one can benefit them the most. Inactivated typhoid vaccine is in the form of an injection. A live typhoid vaccine is an oral vaccine. Proper storage of this vaccine should be in a refrigerator.
Those who should get this vaccine
In the United States, routine typhoid vaccination is not necessary at all. But people should get a typhoid vaccine if they need to travel to other parts of the world where typhoid is common. Individuals who are in close contact with or take care of a typhoid carrier or patient should also get this vaccine. Laboratory professionals who work with Salmonella typhi bacteria must get this shot as well. The doctor must know if the patient has allergies or weakened immunity. Pregnant or breastfeeding women, as well as those who are taking anti-malarial drugs or antibiotics, must tell the doctor about their situation.
Patients with minor illnesses can get the typhoid vaccine. People with moderate or severe illnesses can have this vaccine at a later time. Recovery should happen first before the patient gets the vaccine for typhoid. The possible reactions from getting this vaccine include the following:
- Swelling or redness at the injection site
- Pain from the injection
- Body discomfort
- Abdominal pain
Sometimes, patients may lose consciousness after a vaccination. The individual must tell the doctor if there is ringing in the ears, dizziness, or vision changes after the shot. If traveling, researching the destination country can help the individual know if there is a need for a typhoid vaccine. Areas that are poor in hygiene or sanitation are red flags. Individuals working or staying with the locals must get this vaccine. If the individual should stay in an area where food hygiene and sanitation are questionable, a typhoid vaccine is necessary.
Advice for travelers
Typhoid fever is a severe type of infection that spreads from consuming drinks or food contaminated by the urine or feces of an infected person. There are many cases of this disease in countries with poor mindfulness when it comes to clean and sanitary food preparation practices. Since there is no cure for typhoid fever, prevention is the most effective means to keep this disease at bay. It is ideal to get only bottled water or other sealed beverages in areas with questionable kitchens or water supplies. Bringing hand sanitizers or frequent handwashing can help prevent this infection. Getting a typhoid vaccine is the strongest protection that one can have against this infection.
Understanding what you get from a typhoid vaccine can help you prepare for it
Typhoid fever is a serious disease. Without a cure, practicing sanitation and hygiene is the only way to prevent infection. Your doctor can provide you with the right type of typhoid vaccine before you travel. Even so, remain careful of where you get your food and drinks in the high-risk country you plan to visit.
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