What do I need to know before I travel?
Public Health Scotland logo

Fit for Travel Logo

Information on how to stay safe and healthy abroad. About us.

Typhoid Outbreak in Zimbabwe

09 Jan 2017

A media reportLink of 5 January 2017 advises that since late October 2016 Zimbabwe has seen an outbreak of typhoid that has resulted in more than 2200 suspected cases and at least 9 deaths.

The Health and Child Care minister is reported to have advised that 3 out of every 4 cases have been reported in the capital city of Harare. The outbreak has been attributed to water shortages and poor hygiene. Additionally the government is reported to have issued a street vending ban.

Advice to travellers

Typhoid is spread by the faecal oral route, precautionary measures should therefore be taken to avoid consumption of potentially contaminated drinks, drinking water and ice and to ensure food is uncontaminated or cooked thoroughly.

Personal hygiene when eating and drinking is also important including hand washing prior to eating and using clean plates, cups and utensils.

When to consider vaccination

Vaccination is recommended for travellers to high risk areas where food and water may be contaminated.

Travel to low risk areas - vaccination may be recommended only to those staying in conditions with poor sanitation and unable to maintain their own hygiene precautions e.g. hand hygiene and water purification.