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02 Jul 2022

Limerick people urged to get travel vaccines following local case of typhoid fever

Limerick people urged to get travel vaccines following local case of typhoid fever

Vaccines against typhoid fever are available in Ireland, and can be arranged by visiting your doctor or travel clinic.

THE Department of Public Health Mid-West is advising members of the public living in Limerick, Clare and Tipperary to avail of all necessary travel vaccines to prevent serious illness caused by gastrointestinal diseases, if travelling abroad this summer.

This advice, issued to mark the beginning of school summer holidays, follows a small number of typhoid fever cases in the Mid-West linked to travel overseas.

A number of those who were diagnosed as having typhoid fever were hospitalised. 

"Typhoid is a contagious infection caused by a bacterium called Salmonella typhi.  Vaccination against typhoid fever is recommended if you're travelling to parts of the world where the condition is common. High risk regions include the Indian subcontinent, Africa, south and southeast Asia and South America," said a spokesperson for Public Health Mid-West.

Infection can occur when people visit high risk regions, particularly where there is poor sanitation resulting in food and water contamination and a person who is infected can potentially infect others in their household and workplace.

Members of the public are being advised that symptoms of typhoid fever usually develop 10 to 20 days after a person becomes infected. It typically causes fever, headache, nausea and loss of appetite.

There may also be cough and constipation or diarrhoea, and some people develop a rash.

"Symptoms may be mild. With treatment, symptoms should improve quickly. If typhoid fever is not treated, symptoms usually get worse over the course of a number of weeks, and there is a risk of life threatening complications," said the spokesperson.

Public Health Mid-West Area Director, Dr Mai Mannix said: “For many people and families, it will be their first overseas holiday since before the Covid-19 pandemic. My advice is to avail of any necessary travel vaccines as part of your preparations for the summer break, to protect you and your loved ones from serious illness while abroad. Even a mild infection of a disease like typhoid fever can be uncomfortable and spoil a holiday experience.”

Anyone travelling abroad this summer can minimise the risk of infection by getting vaccinated, washing their hands with soap and hot water, drinking only bottled water or boiled water, eating food that has been thoroughly cooked and avoiding raw fruit and vegetables that cannot be peeled.

Vaccines against typhoid fever are available in Ireland, and can be arranged by visiting your doctor or travel clinic.

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