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Typhoid Fever: Am I at Risk of Contracting this Waterborne Disease?

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What is a Waterborne Disease?

A waterborne disease is a disease that affects an individual when he or she has consumed contaminated water. Contaminated water will often contain parasites and bacterial microorganisms, which when consumed into the human body can have a wide range of effects depending of a variety of factors; how much was consumed of the water, what kind of bacterial microorganisms were in the drinking water and the overall health of the individual to fight off the bacteria.

 

 

 

 

How Can I Identify If Water Is Contaminated?

For many of us, we prefer to travel with few luxuries, and like to ‘do as the locals do’. Particularly in many developing countries where access to a clean water source is limited, the only source of water may be from a river or waterhole. This is extremely risky as often animals drink from these water sources and transfer excrement directly into the water, thus giving the bacteria in the water a food source to feed on. Bacteria in the water, when supplied with food sources, will multiply. 

Contaminated Water Typhoid 2

How can I Identify If I Have Typhoid Fever?

Medically described as being an acute illness, the symptoms of Typhoid Fever will develop quickly and aggressively. The symptoms of Typhoid Fever include: nausea, headache, constipation and loss of appetite.

If you recognise that you have these symptoms make sure to seek medical advice immediately and describe your symptoms to them, so they can prescribe antibiotics to kill the Salmonella Typhi bacteria.

If you do not seek medical advice, you may suffer more serious complications such as internal bleeding in your digestive system, a common example being perforation. Perforation occurs due to the lining of your abdomen being unable to fight off infection. If the condition is not treated, the bacteria in their digestive system can also spread to their stomach, causing peritonitis or result in infections in the bloodstream and vital organs.

Figures published by the WHO indicate that approximately 222,000 thousand people die each year from Typhoid Fever.

How Can I Prevent Myself Contracting Typhoid Fever?

Our first piece of advice would be that if you have any doubt in the water you are drinking that you instead purchase bottled water with an intact seal and pack it in your day bag before you venture out. This minimises the risk of having to rely on an untreated water source to stay hydrated.

If there is no access to a clean water source, we would recommend using Biox Aqua Tablets or Biox Aqua Drops, which both contain a unique biocidal agent, Chlorine Dioxide. Chlorine Dioxide, unlike similar products that contain only chlorine, kills harmful bacteria, viruses and cysts, from within the cell structure, whereas chlorine attacks the cell wall, thus chlorine takes longer to kill the harmful bacteria. Another key advantage of using Biox Aqua, is that the bacterial microorganisms, such as Salmonella Typhi, cannot build up a resistance to the Chlorine Dioxide in the tablet or drop mixture. These bacteria however can build up resistance to chlorine. 

Biox Aqua Tablets

The Biox Aqua Tablets are perfect for all travellers and they are particularly useful for those doing humanitarian work abroad or those partaking in long hikes through jungles, due to their easy usability and travel friendly size. The steps for use of the Biox Aqua Tablets are outlined below:

  • If the water contains particles or appears to contain sediments, you will first need to remove these large particles. To do so, locate a piece of cloth or fine woven fabric (e.g. a clean t-shirt) place it over a container for the drained water to go into and gently pour one litre of water over the fabric
  • Next, take one tablet from the pack, drop it into the water and leave for ten minutes. If the water is particularly dirty or has an unpleasant smell coming off it, add 2 tablets and leave for approximately 40 minutes
  • Drink and enjoy your safe, clean water! The water will remain safe to drink for up to 2 days.

Some further pieces of advice to avoid contracting Typhoid Fever are; avoid ice in drinks on holiday no matter how appealing it may be, and always use Hysan Hand Gel which effectively sanitises hands by killing 99.99% of germs. 

No matter where in the world you are travelling, you should visit our ‘Your Trip Planner’, a free online tool which provides you with general travel health information about the destination you are visiting, and which may also remind you of other travel health products that will make your holiday a safer one.

Have a great trip abroad,

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Written by Kirsty
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