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Prevention

Travel Alert

There is an ongoing outbreak of extensively drug-resistant (XDR) typhoid fever in Pakistan. Travelers to Pakistan and other South Asian countries should take precautions, including getting a typhoid fever vaccination and taking extra care to follow safe food and water guidelines.

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Where in the world do you get typhoid fever?

Typhoid fever is common in most parts of the world except in industrialized regions such as the United States, Canada, western Europe, Australia, and Japan. Therefore, if you are traveling to the developing world, you should consider taking precautions. Other areas of risk include East and Southeast Asia, Africa, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. The most recent pre-travel vaccination guidelines can be found at www.cdc.gov/travel.

How can you avoid typhoid fever?

Two basic actions can protect you from typhoid fever:

  1. Avoid risky foods and drinks.
  2. Get vaccinated against typhoid fever.

It may surprise you, but watching what you eat and drink when you travel is as important as being vaccinated. This is because the vaccines are not completely effective. Avoiding risky foods will also help protect you from other illnesses, including travelers’ diarrhea, cholera, dysentery, and hepatitis A.

Asian soup

“Boil it, cook it, peel it, or forget it”

  • If you drink water, buy it bottled or bring it 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 that are still hot and steaming.
  • Avoid raw vegetables and fruits that cannot be peeled. Vegetables like lettuce are easily contaminated and are very hard to wash well.
  • When you eat raw fruit or vegetables that can be peeled, peel them yourself. (Wash your hands with soap first.) Do not eat the peelings.
  • Avoid foods and beverages from street vendors. It is difficult for food to be kept clean on the street, and many travelers get sick from food bought from street vendors.
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