Study Highlights Risk For Travellers To Indian Sub-Continent
UK travellers visiting friends and relatives on the Indian sub-continent are carrying an unnecessary burden of typhoid and paratyphoid (also called enteric fevers), according to researchers at the Health Protection Agency.
Although the UK had its own typhoid problem several centuries ago, enteric fevers are now mainly confined to countries or regions of the world where sanitation and hygiene remain poor. In 2006, however, there were almost 500 cases (497) of enteric fever reported in England , Wales , and Northern Ireland - the highest level for 10 years.
Between May 2006 and April 2007 the Agency conducted a study to determine who is currently at risk of enteric fevers. Detailed information was collected for all laboratory confirmed cases including travel history, reason for travel, country of birth and ethnicity. The results show very clearly that the majority of cases occurred in people of Indian, Pakistani or Bangladeshi ethnicity, either UK- or non UK-born, who had travelled from the UK to their own or their family's country of origin to visit friends and relatives. Furthermore a substantive number of cases were infected with strains exhibiting resistance to antibiotics used for first-line treatment.