Typhoid fever remains a serious worldwide threat — especially in the developing world — affecting an estimated 22 million people each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The disease is endemic in India, Southeast Asia, Africa, South America and many other areas.

Worldwide, children are at greatest risk of getting the disease, although they generally have milder symptoms than adults do.

If you live in a country where typhoid fever is rare, you're at increased risk if you:

  • Work in or travel to areas where typhoid fever is endemic
  • Work as a clinical microbiologist handling Salmonella typhi bacteria
  • Have close contact with someone who is infected or has recently been infected with typhoid fever
  • Have an immune system weakened by medications such as corticosteroids or diseases such as HIV/AIDS
  • Drink water contaminated by sewage that contains S. typhi
Aug. 22, 2012