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Your complete guide to typhoid fever
There are an astounding 21 million cases of typhoid fever globally every year, but what exactly is this nasty infection and how can you avoid it? Put simply, typhoid fever is a bacterial infection that can spread throughout the whole body, and impacts on the function of many organs. If not treated promptly, typhoid fever can cause severe complications and can even be fatal. If you’re travelling this summer, it’s important you know all there is to discover about typhoid fever, including what symptoms to look out for, how to treat it and how to avoid it. What causes typhoid fever? The infection itself is caused by Salmonella typhi. This is a bacterium related to the bacteria which causes salmonella food poisoning. Once an individual develops typhoid fever, it becomes extremely contagious. The bacteria is most often passed through an infected person’s faeces or — less commonly — their urine. Food and drink becomes contaminated with small amounts of infected waste, causing anyone who consumes the food or drink to ingest the bacteria and develop typhoid fever. Due to the nature of the infection, typhoid fever is most common in areas with limited access to clean water. The most high-risk areas for typhoid fever include the Indian subcontinent, Africa, South and South-East Asia and South America. Children are more at risk of developing typhoid fever than adults, with the average age of sufferers being 14, due to the fact that children’s immune systems are still in development. However, children tend to suffer from milder symptoms than adults. In the UK, typhoid fever is uncommon. There are only 500 cases of the infection each year, with most being the result of residents visiting family in India, Pakistan or Bangladesh where the problem is significantly more widespread. What are the symptoms of typhoid fever? As with many infections, symptoms of typhoid fever become worse the longer the patient suffers from them. Common symptoms of the illness include a high temperature (reaching up to 40 degrees centigrade), stomach pains, severe headaches, constipation, diarrhoea, muscle pain, loss of appetite, nausea, the development of a rash, exhaustion and even confusion. Symptoms will grow worse over the course of weeks without treatment, increasing the risk of fatal complications occurring. How do you treat typhoid fever? If typhoid fever develops, antibiotics are required as soon as possible. If the fever is diagnosed in its early stages, the infection is more likely to be mild and will therefore probably be treatable with an at-home 7- to 14-day course of antibiotic tablets. As cases become more serious, hospital admission will likely be required so that antibiotic injections can be administered. With prompt treatment, cases of the fever will improve within 3 to 5 days and serious complications are very rare. In the UK, deaths from typhoid fever are essentially unheard of. However, if left untreated then a fifth of fever sufferers will die, and survivors may have complications. How can you avoid typhoid fever? When travelling in countries where typhoid fever is more common, there are a few precautions you can take to lower your risk of infection, including drinking only bottled or boiled water and avoiding foods which could potentially be contaminated. You should also be sure to wash your hands thoroughly after every bathroom visit and before every meal. However, the best way to protect yourself against typhoid is through vaccination. Vaccines can be administered as either a single injection or by taking three capsules over alternate days. If you’re travelling to a part of the world where typhoid is widespread, it’s highly recommended that you receive a vaccination, especially if you plan to live or work closely with locals. In the UK, there are two vaccines that protect against typhoid fever. Both of these vaccinations are available from Express Travel Clinic. If you’re planning on travelling this summer, make sure you do it safely. Contact Express Travel Clinic today on 0208 993 5889 and book an appointment.
All the proof you need that travelling is good for you
Travelling can do wonders for your health, as long as you take all the necessary precautions. And we’ve got the numbers to prove it The travelling bug is one animal that can bite hard. Whether it’s during a gap year between education and full-time employment, after retirement or some time in between, the itch to get out there and see the world is one that modern transport has made it so much easier to scratch. Research has shown that travelling can benefit many aspects of our lives, including our mental and physical health. There are a huge number of reasons to experience more of the world, just make sure you do it safely. Here are the benefits of travelling in numbers. Learning, knowledge and education The numbers show that travelling can enhance our knowledge and even benefit our education. 66% of students who travel overseas achieve high degrees, and 67% of students who acquire a foreign language abroad still use that language often. When asked, 86% of students agreed that travelling is vital to education. Some of the world’s greatest cities are home to some of the greatest learning resources. In London, Berlin and New York, you’ll find well over 100 museums to explore, while Paris houses a huge 830 public libraries. Advancing your career horizons Of those asked, a massive 91% of employers said they recognise the benefits of studying abroad. Not only that, but 73% of HR professionals agree that a constructive gap year is worthwhile. 83% of women who work abroad believe it will enhance their career. Travel has been shown to boost skills which many would name as vital to career success, such as open-mindedness, communication, adaptability, teamwork and planning. It can open the doors to exciting careers like teaching English as a second language, archaeology or being an International Aid Worker. Letting love blossom Paris, London, New York, Sydney and Rome have been ranked as the world’s most romantic cities, while Spain, Argentina, Italy, France and Brazil make up the most romantic overall nations. Paying a visit to new places has been found to increase the health and happiness of our love lives. 58% of travellers admit to having had a holiday romance, and 83% of couples asked said their relationship is still strong and romantic due to regular travelling. It’s not just romantic love which benefits either; more than 50% of those asked said they felt reconnected with their family after travelling. Your mental and physical health Your health can also benefit from travelling in many different ways. In fact, when asked to rank their overall health on a scale of 1 – 5, participants who considered themselves travellers rated themselves one full point higher than everyone else. 75% of business executives believe travelling is important for preventing mental and physical burnout, and studies show that an annual holiday can cut a person’s risk of heart attack by as much as 50%. Travelling has been found to benefit our sleep and our immune system, as well as lowering our release of stress hormones and our blood pressure. It can even increase our life expectancy. Although travelling can benefit your health, you still need to be aware of the risks Your mind might be all geared up for travelling, but just make sure your body is prepared too before jetting off. Accessing the necessary travel vaccinations is a vital part of preparing for your trip, particularly if you’re planning on travelling further afield. Travelling is a fantastic experience for anybody, and these numbers show the ways it can benefit your life and health in surprising ways. Just don’t let it get ruined by illness. Visit Express Travel Clinic to help get you prepared for your next trip abroad. Call today on 0208 993 5889.