Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Typhoid cases rise, doctors recommend vaccines

With cases of typhoid fever on the rise, experts are calling upon individuals, particularly children and those with compromised immune systems, to prioritise receiving the typhoid vaccine.

Despite affecting 45 lakh people, especially children, and causing 9,000 deaths yearly in India, with 27 per cent of cases originating from UP alone, concerns have been raised regarding the low awareness of typhoid immunization.

Paediatrician Dr Nyay Gupta said, “Typhoid causes high fever, headache, weakness, discomfort, cough, fatigue and constipation. Children are more prone to it. Severe cases can lead to intestinal bleeding, bowel perforation and meningitis that can be fatal. Urgent vaccination and prevention are essential, especially in the rainy season.”

He said there are two safe and effective typhoid vaccines: a conjugated vaccine (TCV) and a non-conjugated polysaccharide vaccine (ViCPS). The TCV vaccine is recommended for infants, children (6 months and older), and adults up to 45 years.

It provides nearly 90 per cent protection and requires only one shot. The polysaccharide vaccine needs to be taken again every three years. A wholesale vaccine supplier in Lucknow, said ViCPS are available at Rs 200 per dose and TCV at Rs 2,000 per dose.

Prof Kauser Usman of KGMU said, “About 7-8 typhoid patients visit the OPD daily and the numbers are expected to increase. Besides vaccination, one should drink clean water and avoid contaminated food.”

Prof Nishant Verma of KGMU’s paediatrics department said although the Indian government does not include typhoid vaccination in its mandatory immunization programme, the Indian Paediatrician Society recommends prioritising children due to their developing immune systems.

Dr Himanshu Chaturvedi of Balrampur hospital emphasised the importance of vaccination for individuals with compromised immune systems, such as cancer patients, transplant recipients and those with autoimmune disorders, to protect against severe complications.

He underlined the need for campaigns to raise awareness about typhoid fever, its risks and preventive measures, including vaccination, to reduce the disease burden.



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