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Typhoid makes a comeback as knowledge dips.

People's knowledge of vaccines is poor, meaning diseases like typhoid are making a big comeback, health experts said today.

An analysis of figures from the Health Protection Agency showed a 69 per cent increase in recent years in typhoid cases, with most acquired abroad.

One expert warned low air fares could be fuelling the increase and people were forgetting to get their jabs.

In 2002, 147 typhoid cases were reported in England and Wales, with 101 of those acquired abroad.

In 2006, this had leapt to 248 cases, of which 122 were acquired abroad.

A milder strain of the disease called paratyphoid has shown a 78 per cent jump over the same period.

In 2002, 152 cases were recorded, of which 96 were acquired abroad. In 2006, this figure had risen to 270 cases, of which 152 were acquired abroad.

The figures have prompted health experts to launch a new campaign to spread the message about vaccines, called Valuing Vaccines.

Typhoid, sometimes known as enteric fever, is a disease caused by the bacterium Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi, and is picked up through contaminated food or water. Classic typhoid fever is a serious disease which can be life-threatening unless treated promptly with antibiotics.

The disease lasts several weeks and recovery time is long, according to the HPA.

Typhoid varies in severity, but symptoms include a high fever, headache, stomach pains, loss of appetite and nausea.

Typhoid bacteria is passed in the faeces and urine of people who are infected. Others pick it up by consuming food or drinks handled by an infected person, or by drinking water contaminated by sewage containing the bacteria.

Free booklets are being made available in GP surgeries, schools and online at, with printing costs being met by the UK Vaccines Industry Group (UVIG). TV personality, Tony Robinson, whose aunt died of the vaccine-preventable disease diphtheria, is fronting the campaign.
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Aug 30, 2007
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