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Diseases & Topics

Typhoid

Typhoid fever is a life-threatening illness caused by Salmonella typhi bacteria in food or drinking water. In the United States, about 400 cases occur each year; three out of four cases are acquired while traveling internationally. Typhoid fever is still common in the developing world, where it affects about 21.5 million people each year.

People infected with typhoid shed the bacteria in their feces. You can get typhoid fever if you eat food or drink beverages that have been handled by a person with typhoid, or if sewage contaminated with the bacteria gets into water used for drinking or for washing food.

Typhoid fever can be prevented and can usually be treated with antibiotics. If you are planning to travel to a less developed country than the United States, you should know about typhoid fever and what steps you can take to protect yourself. Consider being vaccinated against typhoid before you travel, and avoid drinking unbottled water, using ice in your drinks, or eating raw fruits and vegetables that you don't peel yourself.

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