Risk of Travel-Associated Typhoid and Paratyphoid Fevers in Various Regions


Karl Ekdahl, Birgitta de Jong, and Yvonne Andersson


Although enteric fever (typhoid and paratyphoid fevers) is a major global public health problem, comparable data on the risks of contracting travel-associated enteric fever in various regions of the world are scarce. From the Swedish database on notifiable communicable diseases, we retrieved all case records from 1997 to 2003 on typhoid and paratyphoid fevers. The data set was compared with data on travel patterns obtained from a comprehensive travel database with information from interviews with more than 16,000 Swedish residents with recent overnight travel outside Sweden. The overall risk of being notified with enteric fever after travel was 0.42 in 100,000 travelers. The highest risk for typhoid fever was seen in travelers from India and neighboring countries (41.7 in 100,000), the Middle East (5.91 in 100,000), and Central Africa (3.33 in 100,000), whereas the risk was comparatively low in East Asia (0.24 in 100,000). Almost the same risk areas stood out for paratyphoid fever: India and neighbors (37.5 in 100,000), the Middle East (3.64 in 100,000), and East Africa (3.33 in 100,000). The epidemiology of paratyphoid fever was considerably affected by a large outbreak of paratyphoid B in a Turkish tourist resort in 1999. The youngest children were at highest risk for typhoid fever (odds ratio 44.2), whereas youths ages 7 to 18 years were at highest risk for paratyphoid fever (odds ratio 9.7). Detailed risk data for enteric fever after travel could form the basis for travel advice. Vaccination against typhoid fever should always be considered for travelers to the Indian subcontinent, the Middle East, and Africa but should not routinely be given to travelers to the Malay Peninsula.


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