On your next trip overseas, it’s best to expect the unexpected. Learn about the health and safety risks in the countries you plan to visit, including the possibility of contracting diseases like hepatitis A and typhoid fever.

HEPATITIS A

This viral liver disease is one of the most frequent causes of food-borne infection, especially in areas of the world where sanitary conditions are poor. In some cases, contracting hepatitis A can be as simple as eating food prepared by an infected person.

It’s important to remember that hepatitis A infection is not limited to destinations “off the beaten path” – you CAN contract the disease in urban areas and luxury resorts too!

Hepatitis A symptoms (e.g. fever, dark urine and jaundice) typically appear 14--28 days after exposure, but some infected persons may show no symptoms at all. There is no specific treatment for hepatitis A, but you can help protect yourself by getting vaccinated.

Young woman sitting on a short wall, relaxing at an outdoor café in South America with a pineapple beside her.
Line drawing of a plate inbetween a knife and fork.
INDULGE WITH CAUTION!

Common sources for hepatitis A and typhoid fever infection include drinks made with ice, unpasteurized food, and raw or undercooked food, fruits and veggies.

Close-up of a row of food skewers at an outdoor market.

TYPHOID FEVER

This serious bacterial infection is spread through contaminated food and drink. All travellers to endemic areas are at risk, though infection is most common in destinations with lower standards of cleanliness and sanitation, or limited access to clean water.

Canadians who visit friends and relatives in endemic areas (e.g. South Asia, Africa, Central and South America) are especially vulnerable, since they don’t have the same immunity to local bacteria as the people who live there, but are more likely to try local foods.

In severe cases, typhoid fever can be life-threatening. Although the disease can be treated, antibiotic resistance has been a growing problem in recent years, making treatment more complicated. To help prevent typhoid fever, vaccination is a smart option for travellers.

ViVAXIM® is a vaccine for the prevention of typhoid fever and hepatitis A. It is not indicated to prevent or treat any complications associated with these diseases.

Line drawing of an airplane ticket.
Here’s some food for thought.

One study showed that 98% of travellers made a food or water mistake within their first 72 hours of vacation.