Typhoid fever is a serious illness caused by the bacterium Salmonella Typhi. In addition to a sustained fever, clinical symptoms include headache, weakness, and abdominal pain. Some patients develop a rash of flat, rose-colored spots.
Salmonella Typhi is transmitted by the fecal-oral route and is shed in the feces of ill persons and carriers (recovered patients).
In the U.S. about 400 cases occur annually, and 70% of these are acquired while traveling internationally. Typhoid fever is still common in developing countries and affects about 12.5 million persons each year. Travelers to a country where typhoid is common should consider vaccination prior to travel.