Typhoid Vaccine Failure Creates Risk Of Outbreak

October 9, 2012

16 batches of Typhoid vaccine, affecting people who got it as far back as January of last year, have been recalled after tests found they were too weak. People who got the vaccine are at an increased risk of Typhoid, and given the incredibly contagious nature of the bacteria that causes Typhoid, anyone who catches it could quickly spread it.

(Only Typhym Vi is recalled—there are two other effective vaccines on the market—check with your doctor).

Usually, people get Typhoid vaccine before travelling out of the country. South and Southeast Asia still have the disease, and though it’s rare in the US, Canada, and the UK, small outbreaks do occasionally occur because the vaccine isn’t routinely given (or needed).

The recalled vaccines shouldn’t have any other negative side-effects, and officials aren’t recommending getting re-vaccinated. What is being recommended is that people watch for symptoms of Typhoid. (Specifically people who travel out of the country and those around them).

Remember, about 5% of people infected with Typhoid will show no symptoms, but can still transmit the disease to others.

Typhoid progresses in stages, starting with fever and malaise. By the second week the fever is worse and mental symptoms like delirium become apparent. Luckily, unlike most diseases, you probably won’t confuse Typhoid symptoms with the flu if you’re paying close attention (i.e., not working through the illness but resting and listening to your body). Typhoid is easily treated with antibiotics when caught early.

How likely is catching Typhoid?

Typhoid is spread like food poisoning, but it’s much more contagious. So if someone has it, it doesn’t take long for people around them to catch it.

This is the second headline vaccine failure of this year—the first being the deadly outbreak of whooping cough caused by a weaker vaccine. What do you think? Let us know below!

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