The Wheeling-Ohio County Health Department will now carry Oral Typhoid as part of the department’s International Travel Vaccination Clinic.

Vivotif, oral Typhoid Vaccine, is a 4 dose vaccine that is taken orally.

Typhoid fever is a systemic, febrile disease contracted by ingesting contaminated food or water. It is unique to humans and commonly found where sanitation is deficient. Historically, typhoid fever was a major cause of illness and death until the advent of modern antibiotics. Millions of people are still affected by typhoid fever every year, especially people living in low- and middle-income countries and international travelers.

Typhoid fever is caused by infection with the bacteria Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi. S. Typhi is spread from infected to susceptible people via the fecal-oral transmission route. Important risk factors for infection with S. Typhi include lack of access to improved sanitation and clean drinking water. A small proportion of infected individuals (2-5%) in endemic regions will develop a chronic gall bladder infection and serve as asymptomatic reservoirs of S. Typhi, potentially infecting contacts for years.

S. Typhi thrives in unsanitary conditions. The key to prevention is thus access to clean water, improved sanitation, and personal hygiene measures, including safe food practices. Vaccines are available that can help protect against typhoid fever.

Typhoid fever must be promptly treated with antibiotics to prevent relapses and reduce fecal shedding. Doing so can reduce case-fatality rates to below 1%. In most cases, oral antibiotic treatment and bedrest are sufficient for full recovery. Severe cases will need to be admitted to a healthcare setting for monitoring and treatment with parenteral antibiotics. Unfortunately, antimicrobial resistance is growing among S. Typhi strains, undermining the effectiveness of many existing therapies and underscoring the importance of immunization.

For more information on international travel vaccinations contact the Wheeling-Ohio County Health Department at (304) 234-3682.