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Typhoid fever is an infection of the gut and bloodstream caused by bacteria. It is spread from person to person, usually from eating food or drinking water that has been contaminated with the bacteria from an infected person, which is passed out of their body in their poo or (less commonly) their pee.

Typhoid can be found throughout the world but it is more common in countries that have limited access to clean water or toilets. Countries at highest risk include India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, but you may also be at risk if you visit countries in others parts of Asia, Africa, the Pacific and South and Central America

It can take 1 to 3 weeks after becoming infected for you to feel ill, so symptoms can start when you have returned home.

The main symptoms of typhoid are similar to a general upset tummy and may include:

  • a high temperature (fever)
  • a headache
  • general aches and pains


The following vaccines are available in the UK. They can provide some protection against typhoid fever.

  • TYPHIM Vi is given as a single injection but cannot be given to children less than 2 years old
  • Vivotif consists of 3 oral capsules which are taken every 2 days over 5 days. They cannot be given to children less than 5 years old

These vaccines offer some protection against typhoid for up to three years.

Taking additional hygiene and food and water precautions is very important, even if you are fully vaccinated, as neither of these vaccines offer 100% protection.