Typhoid Fever

What is Typhoid Fever?

Typhoid fever is caused by a bacteria called Salmonella typhi.

How is it spread?

Most of the time typhoid is spread by eating food and drinking water that has been contaminated with poop (feces) or urine of an infected person. This is called “fecal-oral” route.

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms usually appear 1 to 3 weeks after coming in contact with the bacteria. Symptoms can vary. Some people will not get any symptoms.  Some people may get:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Feel very tired (fatigue)
  • Not feel hungry (no appetite)

What are the complications?

Typhoid may cause some dangerous life threatening symptoms and may include:

  • Liver enlargement and spleen
  • Bleeding in the intestines
  • Altered mental status and other neurological complications

Who is at risk?

Travellers are those most at risk. Travelling to countries that have poor sanitation and hygiene would put someone at risk of coming in contact with the bacteria that causes typhoid fever. Before travelling, speak to your health care provider about your risks and precautions you can take to prevent infections when travelling. Visit the Government of Canada’s Travel Health and Safety website to gather information about your destinations and to learn how to prevent infections while travelling.

Typhoid fever is still common in the developing world, where it affects 21.5 million people per year.

Is there treatment?

Typhoid fever can be treated with antibiotics.

How can Typhoid Fever be prevented?

If you are travelling to a developing country where there is poor sanitation, unsafe drinking water, poor hygiene standards and typhoid occurs, you may benefit from typhoid vaccination. Consult your health care provider or a travel health clinic as soon as you know you are travelling.

Health Care Providers

Suspected cases are reportable to the Health Unit immediately by telephone. During office hours at 519-258-2146 ext. 1420 and after hours at 519-973-4510.

To reduce the spread of further illness, infected individuals should be excluded from handling food, providing patient care or working in daycares.