Typhoid fever is most often linked to salmonella typhi, a bacterium found in contaminated foods and water. Once the bacterium enters the body, it will travel directly to the intestines and then bloodstream. Typhoid fever is a very serious infection that will cause symptoms such as diarrhea, rash (rose spots), abdominal pain, and high fever (up to 103 degrees Fahrenheit). If the infection goes untreated, more severe symptoms will occur, including delirium, hallucinations, epistaxis (nosebleeds), malaise, bloody stools and death.
According to the CDC, there are fewer than 400 cases of typhoid fever reported in the United States annually. It is more commonly reported in developing countries. However, it never hurts to get vaccinated. The University of Maryland of Medicine Center for Vaccine Development recently received a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The grant of $36.9 million is to be used for the Typhoid Vaccine Acceleration Consortium. The key is to promote vaccines for the bacterial infection worldwide.
It is highly recommended for individuals traveling to parts of the world, where typhoid is prominent and laboratory workers. Some individuals that have come in contact with salmonella typhi will become a carrier, which basically means the bacteria will remain dormant in their body. Typhoid vaccines are available in oral form (live vaccine) and subcutaneous injections (inactivated vaccine).
Director of Center for Vaccine Development, Dr. Kathleen Neuzil, released a statement, “With our long history of work in typhoid and typhoid vaccines, we look forward to working with partners to catalyze action against this significant public health problem.” She also said that typhoid fever disproportionately impacts children and dense populations, with sanitation issues.