Risks of typhoid fever

Learn about the risk factors for developing typhoid fever and who is at highest risk.

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The risk of getting typhoid fever

The risks of getting typhoid fever are very low. Travellers to areas of the world where the cause of the illness is common are at the highest risk.

Your risk is usually low in areas with:

  • access to clean water
  • safe food-handling practices
  • higher standards of cleanliness and accommodation
  • proper sewage (human waste) disposal

Who is most at risk

Your risk of typhoid fever is highest while travelling to areas with:

  • poor sanitation
  • poor food-handling practices
  • limited access to clean water

Most Canadians who develop typhoid fever get it during travel to an area that has these kinds of conditions. These areas of the world include:

  • Asia
  • Africa
  • South Asia
  • the Caribbean
  • Central and South America

When you travel to visit friends and relatives in these areas, you are more likely to eat local food and be exposed to untreated water. Travellers do not have the same immunity to local bacteria as the people who live there. This increases the risk of food and water-borne diseases like typhoid fever for travellers.

People with weakened immune systems (reduced ability to fight disease) are at higher risk of severe illness from typhoid fever.

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