Prevention Tips for Travelers

Travel Alert

Pakistan is experiencing an outbreak of extensively drug-resistant typhoid fever. Travelers to Pakistan and other South Asian countries should take precautions.

Typhoid fever and paratyphoid fever are common in many parts of the world.

Typhoid fever and paratyphoid fever are most common in parts of the world where water and food may be unsafe and sanitation is poor. These places include parts of East and Southeast Asia, Africa, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. If you’re traveling to places where typhoid and paratyphoid fever are common, you can take steps to protect yourself from infection.

Two basic actions can protect you:

  1. Get vaccinated against typhoid fever. Visit your doctor or a travel clinic at least 2 weeks before traveling to discuss your options.
  2. Practice safe eating and drinking habits. Carefully selecting what you eat and drink when you travel is important because typhoid fever vaccines do not work 100% of the time and there isn’t a paratyphoid fever vaccine. Safe eating and drinking will also help protect you from other illnesses, including travelers’ diarrheacholera, dysentery, and hepatitis A.

When you travel to areas of risk, remember to “Boil it, cook it, peel it, or forget it.”

Asian soup
  • Buy bottled water or bring local water to a rolling boil for 1 minute before you drink it. Bottled carbonated water is safer than uncarbonated water.
  • Ask for drinks without ice, unless the ice is made from bottled or boiled water. Avoid popsicles and flavored ices that may have been made with contaminated water.
  • Eat foods that have been thoroughly cooked and are still hot and steaming.
  • Avoid raw vegetables and fruits that cannot be peeled. Lettuce can remain contaminated even after it is washed.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water before eating.
  • Avoid foods and beverages from street vendors unless steaming hot.