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Typhoid Fever in Thailand

If you’re planning to visit Thailand, you’ll be excited for its stunning landscapes, vibrant culture, and delicious cuisine. The last thing on your mind would be diseases like typhoid fever, but it’s highly imperative that you do. After all, the risk of getting typhoid in Thailand is very real. 

In this Pacific Prime Thailand article, we’ll quickly go over what typhoid fever is, including the symptoms and causes of it. More importantly, we’ll also touch upon the key facts relating to diagnosis, treatment and prevention to keep your and your family safe and sound in the Land of Smiles.

Concerned about other diseases that you may encounter in Thailand? Check out our article on the Top 13 diseases and medical conditions in Thailand, including the mosquito-borne Zika and Japanese Encephalitis. 

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What is Typhoid Fever?

Typhoid Fever is a bacterial infection caused by Salmonella Typhi. It’s a stealthy illness, often masquerading as common ailments like the flu, and its symptoms can be deceptive. However, beneath seemingly mild symptoms lies a potentially life-threatening disease.

Symptoms of Typhoid Fever

Typically appearing 1 or 2 weeks after infection, the symptoms of typhoid fever are a high temperature, a headache, general aches and pains, fatigue, a cough, and constipation. Some people may lose their appetite, feel sick, suffer from tummy ache and diarrhea, and get rashes.

Causes of Typhoid Fever

Typhoid Fever is primarily spread through the ingestion of contaminated food or water. It thrives in unsanitary conditions, making it common in areas with poor sanitation and limited access to clean water. The bacteria can also be carried and transmitted by asymptomatic individuals. 

How is Typhoid Fever Diagnosed and Treated?

As the symptoms of Typhoid Fever are similar to other diseases like the common cold, it can often go misdiagnosed. The way to confirm that the disease is indeed Typhoid Fever is by analyzing samples of blood, poo, or pee for the Salmonella Typhi bacteria under a microscope. 

It’s crucial to note that the bacteria isn’t always detected the first time so you may need to have a series of tests. Another way of diagnosis that’s more accurate is via a sample of bone marrow, but it’s time-consuming and painful so is only used if other tests are inconclusive.

Note: For those who are diagnosed with Typhoid Fever, the other members of their household and their close contacts are also highly recommended to get tested in case the virus has been passed on to them. 

Once Typhoid Fever has been diagnosed, treatment usually consists of a course of antibiotics. While Typhoid Fever can be treated at home, hospital admission may be needed if the patient’s condition is severe or if complications occur. 

Can Typhoid Fever be Prevented?

Practicing safe eating and drinking habits go a long way in the prevention of Typhoid Fever. For travelers in Thailand, this means being cautious about where and what one eats. It’s vital to opt for food from reputable sources and ensure that it’s thoroughly cooked. 

If possible, it’s also worth avoiding the consumption of raw seafood and street food that may have been exposed to contaminated water. When it comes to beverages, it’s also highly recommended to stick to bottled water and avoid ice in drinks if its source is questionable.

Vaccination for Typhoid Fever

Getting a Typhoid Fever vaccination is another good prevention strategy – especially for those planning to travel to or live in rural areas of Thailand. The vaccines available are the injectable Vi capsular polysaccharide vaccine and the oral live-attenuated Ty21a vaccine.


Typhoid Fever is something you should take seriously. Even though symptoms can be mistaken for the common flu, Typhoid Fever can quickly turn life-threatening if complications occur and/or if treatment isn’t provided. That said, Typhoid Fever is a disease that’s both preventable and curable. 

Worried about getting Typhoid Fever whilst traveling to or living in Thailand? Aside from all the preventative measures, it’s also worth securing a private health insurance plan. This will enable you to access the best healthcare if you suspect you’ve got Typhoid Fever or indeed any other illness.

Finding, comparing, and securing the right health plan doesn’t necessarily have to be complicated. It’s highly recommended to get in touch with a reputable and experienced broker like Pacific Prime Thailand for all the help you can get. 

Contact us to kick start your insurance journey today!

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Frequently Asked Questions:

Where Is Typhoid Fever Most Prevalent?

Typhoid Fever is most prevalent in East and South Asia (especially India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh), Africa, the Caribbean, Central and South America, and the Middle East. Travelers to these areas are advised to be extra cautious. 

Is Typhoid Fever Deadly?

Typhoid Fever can be deadly and life-threatening – especially if complications occur and/or treatment isn’t undertaken. If Typhoid Fever is suspected, it’s highly recommended to consult a medical practitioner. 

What Are Some Tips to Prevent Typhoid Fever?

When it comes to tips to prevent Typhoid Fever, make sure you avoid dodgy eateries and make sure all food you consume has been thoroughly cooked and is still hot. Avoid raw foods and beverages with ice, unless you’re sure of the source and its hygiene levels.

How Long Does Typhoid Fever Last?

Generally speaking, Typhoid Fever lasts about seven to 10 days when treated soon after symptoms start. However, If untreated or if treatment starts later, it can last three weeks or longer. 

Is There a Vaccine for Typhoid Fever?

There is a vaccination for Typhoid Fever, but it’s not routinely given in many countries. With that said, travelers going to parts of the world where Typhoid Fever is prevalent are highly recommended to get the Typhoid Fever vaccination. 

Does the Typhoid Fever Vaccination Give Life-long Protection?

Typhoid Fever vaccinations do not usually give life-long protection. As such, booster vaccinations are recommended every 3 years for individuals who continue to be at high risk of getting Typhoid Fever such as those traveling to areas where Typhoid Fever is prevalent.

Senior Content Creator at Pacific Prime Thailand
Suphanida is a Senior Content Creator at Pacific Prime, an award-winning global health insurance and employee benefits specialist.

With over 5 years of experience in the field, Suphanida spends the majority of her day synthesizing complex pieces of insurance-related information and translating this into easy-to-understand, engaging, and effective content across a variety of media such as articles, infographics, whitepapers, videos, and more.

Suphanida is also responsible for planning and publishing three whitepapers released annually by Pacific Prime: The State of Health Insurance Report, The Cost of Health Insurance Report, and The Global Employee Benefits Trends Report. Additionally, she handles the LinkedIn profiles of Pacific Prime’s Founder and CEO, as well as Global HR Lead.

Suphanida’s strengths lie in her strong research and analytical skills, which she has gained from her BA in Politics from the University of Warwick and Erasmus Mundus Joint MA in Journalism from Aarhus University and City, University of London.

Being of Thai-Indian origin and having lived, studied, and worked in Thailand, the UK, and Denmark, Suphanida also has a unique, multicultural perspective that helps her understand the struggles of expats and globetrotters.

Outside of work, she enjoys traveling to new places and immersing herself in different cultures.
Suphanida Thakral
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