Prevention Tips for Travelers

Travel Alert

There is an ongoing outbreak of extensively drug-resistant typhoid fever in Pakistan. 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 common in many parts of the world, but not in industrialized regions such as the United States, Canada, Western Europe, Australia, and Japan. Areas of highest risk include parts of East and Southeast Asia, Africa, the Caribbean, and Central and South America.

Two basic actions can protect you:

  1. Get vaccinated against typhoid fever.
  2. Find out how to stay safe when it comes to foods and drinks.

Carefully selecting what you eat and drink when you travel is important. This is because the typhoid fever vaccines do not work 100% of the time, and there is no paratyphoid fever vaccine. Avoiding risky foods will also help protect you from other illnesses, including travelers’ diarrhea, cholera, dysentery, and hepatitis A.

Asian soup

When you travel to areas of risk, remember to “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 are still hot and steaming.
  • Avoid raw vegetables and fruits that cannot be peeled. Lettuce can remain contaminated even after it is washed.
  • When you eat raw fruit or vegetables that can be peeled, peel them yourself. (Wash your hands with soap first.)
  • Avoid foods and beverages from street vendors.

Get more food safety tips on CDC’s Traveler’s Health website >