Hepatitis A & Typhoid
Hepatitis A affects the liver and is usually spread through contaminated food and water or close physical contact with an infected person. It is common in developing countries where sanitary conditions are poor and the safety of drinking water is not adequately controlled. The disease can incubate for 3 - 5 weeks before illness develops. Adults can take many months to fully recover from infection whereas children often have very mild illness but can easily pass it to others. Hepatitis A is prevented by eating ’safe’ food, drinking ‘safe’ water and pre-travel vaccination.
Typhoid is spread through faecally contaminated food and water. The disease is common in areas with poor standards in food hygiene and preparation and where suitable treatment of sewage is lacking. It is possible to contract Typhoid from shellfish, raw fruit or vegetables fertilised by ‘night soil’ (human waste). A feverish illness will develop 1-3 weeks after infection and without correct diagnosis and treatment, the disease can spread through the gut wall and cause a serious infection throughout the body. It is also possible to become a carrier of this disease when bacteria remain in the gut after symptoms have resolved but you continue to be able to infect others. This disease can be prevented by healthy eating and drinking and pre-travel vaccination that will last up to 3 years.