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Typhoid in the UK

30th August 2007
Vaccination1

Holidaymakers travelling to exotic locations without getting the proper vaccines before they go are leading to a rise in cases of dangerous conditions such as typhoid in the UK.

The Health Protection Agency says that there has been a 69% increase in typhoid cases in recent years. Most of those have been acquired abroad and experts say that the greater availability of low air fares could be fuelling the problem.

Now, the Valuing Vaccines campaign is being launched in an effort to spread the message about the importance of immunisation.

Dr Jane Zuckerman, director of the Centre for Travel Medicine at the Royal Free Hospital in London, is backing the campaign.

She said: “We have seen vaccine-preventable diseases like typhoid on the increase because people travel abroad to endemic areas without being vaccinated and return sick to the UK.?

Typhoid is potentially fatal unless treated quickly and caused by the bacterium Salmonella Typhi and is picked up through contaminated food or water. It kills about 600,000 people worldwide each year. In the UK in 2006, there were 248 cases of which 122 were acquired abroad. These were up from 147 cases of typhoid in 2002, of which 122 were picked up overseas.

The Health Protection Agency said it was strongly in favour of the uptake of all recommended vaccines. A spokeswoman said: “Although typhoid has increased the figures are still quite low and tend to show some yearly fluctuation.?

The Valuing Vaccines campaign is being fronted by TV personality Tony Robinson.

 

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