Visiting Fiji Islands? Check Your Typhoid Immunization Status
Fiji’s Minister for Health and Medical Services Dr. Ifereimi Waqainabete said he is waiting for a report in relation to an ongoing Typhoid outbreak in Fiji, which is centered in Nabouwalu.
Dr. Waqainabete said to FBC.com on December 8, 2018, “We don’t want this Typhoid outbreak to actually get worse and more importantly we are now at the end of the year, where we’re all looking forward to Christmas and New Year.”
While speaking to FijiVillage, Dr. Waqainabete confirmed that 31 cases of Typhoid have been reported in Naitasiri, with an additional 14 suspected cases pending from the same province.
Dr. Waqainabete said to FijiVillage that ‘health officials are well positioned in Naitasiri to deal with the Typhoid outbreak.’
Nabouwalu is located on the northern Fiji island.
The Health Minister says he will be able to confirm in the next few days if there are reported cases of Typhoid from other areas of Fiji.
To keep Americans traveling abroad, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) publishes travel notices regarding health issues related to specific international destinations.
Typhoid fever is a life-threatening illness, caused by Salmonella serotype Typhi, says the CDC.
As of November 29, 2018, the CDC has not issued a Travel Alert for the Fiji Islands.
If you are traveling to a country where typhoid fever is common, consider being vaccinated against typhoid fever at least 1–2 weeks before departure.
Moreover, Typhoid vaccines lose effectiveness after several years, says the CDC.
If you were vaccinated in the past, ask your doctor, nurse or pharmacist if it is time for a booster vaccination.
Two typhoid vaccines are available in the United States:
- Vi capsular polysaccharide vaccine (ViCPS) (Typhim Vi, manufactured by Sanofi Pasteur) for intramuscular use,
- Oral live attenuated vaccine (Vivotif, manufactured from the Ty21a strain of serotype Typhi by PaxVax).
Both typhoid vaccines only protect 50–80 percent of recipients. And, these typhoid vaccines do not offer protection against paratyphoid fever.
Taking Typhoid antibiotics is a good idea, but they will not prevent typhoid fever.
Pre-trip counseling sessions can be scheduled with a local pharmacy at Vax-Before-Travel.
And, vaccine discounts can be found here.
Vaccines, like any medication, can cause side effects, says the CDC.