Typhoid VaccineNew York, NY
The typhoid vaccine protects against the potentially deadly typhoid fever. Individuals at elevated risk for catching the infection, such as certain healthcare workers or those who travel to high-risk areas, should receive the vaccine. Typhoid fever is dangerous, and people need to protect themselves.
Dr. Marina Gafanovich offers the typhoid vaccine in her Upper East Side Manhattan office. If you are at elevated risk for typhoid fever or are traveling to a high-risk area, we can help. To learn more or schedule an appointment, call 212-548-3263 today.
What is Typhoid Fever
Typhoid fever is an illness caused by the Salmonella Typhi bacteria. Most people get the bacteria through contaminated food or water. However, it can be spread through person-to-person contact. Sometimes people can be carriers of the disease and spread it without showing symptoms. People tend to contract the disease while traveling to places where typhoid fever is prevalent.
Typhoid fever is serious and can cause life-threatening complications like septic shock. Its symptoms include weakness, fatigue, high fever, stomach pains, constipation or diarrhea, headache, and loss of appetite. Sometimes it causes a skin rash as well. Death can result in up to 30% of untreated cases.
Types of Typhoid Vaccine
Though healthcare workers can treat typhoid fever with antibiotics, due to the seriousness of the disease, those at high risk should be vaccinated. Like all vaccines, the typhoid vaccine works by stimulating the body to produce antibodies that prevent one from getting sick if infected. The vaccine can be administered by injection or taken orally. The method of vaccination depends on several factors, including a patient's age, current medications, and if they are immune compromised
If delivered by injection, one dose provides protection. The National Library of Medicine (NIH) recommends getting the shot two weeks before traveling to a high-risk area to give the vaccine time to work. Those who remain at elevated risk should have a booster shot every two years.
The oral vaccine comes in four doses. Patients should take one capsule every other day for a week, taking the last dose at least one week before travel. With the oral method, a booster is recommended every five years for those who remain at risk.
Who Should be Vaccinated
Those at risk include travelers to certain parts of the world, lab workers who handle the Salmonella Typhi bacteria and people who work closely with infected people. Typhoid fever is rare in the United States. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends vaccination when traveling to areas where typhoid fever is common such as parts of East and Southeast Asia, Africa, the Caribbean, and Central and South America.
Patients should consult a doctor knowledgeable in travel medicine about whether they should receive the vaccine and which type. No one under the age of two should receive either vaccine. Also, those who have had an allergic reaction to a dose of the vaccine should not receive another.
The oral vaccine should not be administered to anyone who is under the age of six, immunocompromised, undergoing cancer treatment, or taking antibiotics and certain other medications. Anyone showing signs of illness should not receive either type of vaccine until they recover.
Risks and Side Effects
Though rare, both types of the vaccine can cause side effects. These include headache, nausea, and diarrhea. There may be tenderness at the injection site. The doctor will discuss all possible side effects with the patient and advise on how to mitigate them.
A severe adverse reaction is unlikely. However, it is important to know the signs and what to do. These signs include an unusually high fever, dizziness, rapid heartbeat, swelling of the face and throat, hives, and breathing difficulties. In case of a severe reaction, call 911 or take the patient to the nearest emergency room right away.
Other Safety Precautions
It is important to note that the typhoid vaccine is not 100% effective, and patients should take common-sense measures to protect their health while traveling. The Mayo Clinic recommends taking the following precautions when traveling to high-risk areas:
- Avoid raw fruits and vegetables. Because raw produce may have been washed in contaminated water, avoid fruits and vegetables that cannot be peeled, especially lettuce.
- Be careful with water. Ask for drinks without ice. Use bottled water for tooth brushing, and do not swallow water in the shower. Drink only bottled water (carbonated is safer than still).
- Eat hot foods. Avoid food stored/served at room temperature. Steaming hot foods are best. It is best to avoid food from street vendors.
- Know where the doctors are. Find out in advance about medical care in and around the destination. Travelers should carry a list of the names, addresses, and phone numbers of recommended doctors.
- Wash hands. Frequent hand-washing in hot, soapy water is a leading way to control infection. Wash before eating or preparing food and after using the toilet. It is also a good idea to carry an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
Schedule a Visit Today
Dr. Marina Gafanovich offers the typhoid vaccine to patients in her Upper Eastside Manhattan office. Let us help you stay safe and healthy while you travel. Call our office at 212-548-3263 to learn more or schedule an appointment.
Frequently Asked Questions About Typhoid Vaccine
Q. How can I find out if a vaccine is recommended for the destination I am traveling to?
A. There are a number of places on the web where you can look for this information. The CDC has a great resource here. On the CDC's site, you can find out the vaccines required or recommended by country. You will find other relevant health-related information there as well.
Q. Is the typhoid vaccine covered by insurance?
A. It depends on your plan. However, there are many insurance plans who do not cover it or other travel vaccinations. We recommend you contact your insurance provider directly for details on vaccination coverage.
Q. Can children have a typhoid vaccine?
A. No one under two years of age should have any type of typhoid vaccine. However, children over the age of two can receive the shot. The orally administered vaccine should not be given to anyone under six years of age.
Q. What are the most common side effects of the typhoid vaccine?
A. If the patient experiences side effects, they will most likely be a mild fever, headaches, muscle pain, and a feeling of general discomfort. If the vaccine is delivered by injection, the patient may have discomfort at the injection site. Severe side effects are rare.
Q. Who should administer the typhoid vaccine?
A. The typhoid vaccine is not part of the regular cannon of vaccines recommended for everyone. Your primary care provider may not stock it. We suggest visiting a doctor knowledgeable in travel medicine or visiting a travel clinic.
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