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Hastings and Prince Edward Public Health

Typhoid Fever FAQs

What is typhoid fever?

Typhoid fever is a serious, sometimes life-threatening disease caused by one strain of bacteria called Salmonella typhi. This bacterium thrives in all countries where there is poor sanitation.

What are the symptoms of typhoid fever?

Early symptoms include chills, fever, headache, weakness, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, body aches, cough, and constipation. Children are more likely to suffer from diarrhea instead of constipation. A rash may appear on the chest and abdomen.

Diagnosis is by a lab test of blood or stool (sometimes both).

How is it spread?

Infection occurs after consuming contaminated food or water, or contact with an infected person.

Who is at risk?

The risk is greatest in Africa, Asia, and Central and South America, but it is also a concern in parts of Eastern Europe.

How can I protect myself?

  • Wash your hands. Washing with soap and water after using the toilet and before preparing meals is the best defense.
  • Thoroughly wash all raw vegetables and salads, and eat only foods that are well cooked.
  • Drink bottled, boiled, or treated water.
  • There are several different vaccines available, both injectable and oral.


Kingston Frontenac Lennox & Addington Health Unit, Typhoid Fever, July 2006.

Typhoid Fever Fact Sheet printable pdf

Need More Information About Typhoid Fever FAQs?

Talk to your health care provider or call our Communicable Disease Program at 613-966-5500 or 1-800-267-2803, ext. 349.

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Appointments for individuals 5+ can be booked through the provincial vaccine booking site, or by calling 1-833-943-3900 from 8 am to 8 pm, 7 days a week.  

Due to limited supply, HPEPH will initially be prioritizing available bivalent vaccine for residents and workers at identified highest-risk facilities.  Some HPEPH vaccination clinics MAY offer the bivalent vaccine, as availability allows. Vaccine clinics in Hastings and Prince Edward Counties will continue to offer monovalent vaccines (the same mRNA vaccines given as the primary series) for all eligible individuals until a steady supply of the bivalent vaccine is available.

Visit the HPEPH vaccine booking web page for details.


Symptoms or exposure? Visit for the most up to date information about what to do.

For the most up to date information on current provincial restrictions, visit

The Ministry of Health has launched a new toll-free line as an additional resource to help answer questions from the public regarding evolving COVID-19 testing and isolation guidance. The line can be reached at 1-888-777-0730, and is available from 8 am to 6 pm, 7 days a week.