What is the combined hepatitis A and typhoid vaccine?
This vaccine that helps protect you from being infected with typhoid fever and hepatitis A. It is available for people over the age of 16, it is delivered with one injection into muscle or under the skin.
Who should get the combined hepatitis A and typhoid vaccine?
This vaccine is recommended for people at a risk of being exposed to hepatitis A and typhoid fever, including travellers to regions where the diseases are widespread and have poor sanitation and food hygiene.
These areas include:
- South and South East Asia
- some parts of the Far East – excluding Japan
- the Middle East
- South and Central America
It’s also recommended for people who may be exposed through their work, for example in a laboratory.
The vaccine protects against typhoid fever for two years, after which a booster jab should be given to extend protection. It protects against hepatitis A for one year, after which a second dose can be given to extend protection for up to 20 years.
Why get the combined hepatitis A and typhoid vaccine, and not separate jabs?
The combined vaccine protects you from two diseases with just one jab, lessening the pain and stress of getting vaccinated. It also cuts the number of visits you have to make to clinic, making it more convenient.
How long before travelling should I get the vaccine?
You should get this vaccine ideally at least one month before travelling to a high risk destination, to be sure you have maximum protection against both diseases, although it can be given up to a week before you leave.
Even after getting vaccinated you are advised to be cautious about the food and drink you consume during your stay, as it could carry other forms of bacteria that this vaccine does not protect you against. Therefore it is essential to avoid food and drinks that have not come from a reliable source.
What is hepatitis A?
Hepatitis A is a viral liver disease contracted through consuming contaminated food or drink, or via physical contact where sanitation or personal hygiene is poor.
Hepatitis A has an incubation period of 14 to 28 days. Once infected with hepatitis A your body develops antibodies which prevent a second infection.
What are the symptoms of hepatitis A?
Often hepatitis A causes no symptoms. However, symptomatic infection can cause fever, loss of appetite, nausea, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, and jaundice (a yellowing of the skin). Older people and those with other liver diseases are at more risk of developing serious complications.
What is typhoid?
Typhoid fever (or ‘typhoid’ for short) is a bacterial infection caused by the bacterium ‘salmonella typhi’. People infected with typhoid carry salmonella typhi in their intestinal tract or blood stream and can contaminate food and water, spreading the infection to others. Poor sanitation and food hygiene increase the risk of the disease being spread.
Typhoid has an incubation period of 7 to 21 days. It is possible to carry the infection and pass it on to others without showing any symptoms at all.
What are the symptoms of typhoid?
Initial symptoms include high fever, stomach pain, constipation, diarrhoea, aching muscles, sweating, dry cough and appetite loss. The infection can also cause a rash of flattish pink spots.
Without treatment, symptoms become more severe and include confusion, a slow heart rate, and feeling completely drained or exhausted, known as the ‘typhoid state’. Intestinal bleeding can occur and lead to sepsis, which can cause death.
Symptoms generally begin to dissipate after around three to four weeks. Around 10 percent of patients are at risk of relapsing even after showing initial improvements.