Warning for travellers after drug resistant typhoid found in toddler

SCHN doctors are highlighting the need for vaccines for families who intend to travel to Asia after a toddler was diagnosed with typhoid recently. 

In an article published in the Medical Journal of Australia Dr Phillip Britton, Staff Specialist in Infectious Diseases at The Children's Hospital at Westmead warned families travelling to South and South East Asia to be vaccinated.

The warning comes after the first case of extensively drug-resistant typhoid was reported in an Australian toddler.

In 2016, a group of related typhoid organisms emerged in Pakistan and have been resistant to all first-line antibiotics.

Since then cases of resistant typhoid have been reported in travellers returning to England, Germany, and the United States from Pakistan.

Recently a 20 month old Australian girl presented to The Children's Hospital at Westmead with enteric fever just two weeks after returning from a three month trip to Pakistan.

Dr Britton said the symptoms originated while she was on holidays.

"Ten days of high fevers, irritability, vomiting and reduced oral intake prompted admission.

“The child responded to intravenous meropenem and oral azithromycin and was discharged after an uncomplicated 8-day admission to complete a further week of azithromycin.” 

“Typhoid must be considered as a diagnosis for febrile returned travellers from endemic regions, including South and South-East Asia." he said. 

Dr Britton said the typhoid vaccination is recommended from 2 years of age if travel is planned to these regions.

"The important role of GPs in providing travel-related vaccine advice and care to returning travellers must not be underestimated.”

If you are travelling to Asia please see your GP about the recommended vaccines for that area.