Typhoid fever

Dominic Aguiar developed typhoid during a trip to India. He says it was lack of planning that caused the infection.

Dominic Aguiar developed typhoid during a trip to India. He says it was lack of planning that caused the infection. 

"It was my own fault really," says the London schoolteacher. "I've been visiting southern India, where I've got family, for years without ever bothering with the typhoid vaccine. The last trip, during the Christmas holidays, was more ambitious, as it included a visit to Delhi. If I'd thought about it or consulted an expert, I could have had the vaccination."

Dominic doesn't know exactly where he was infected with typhoid fever, but it was almost certainly during a stay in a Delhi hotel. By the time he got back to London two weeks later, he was already ill, vomiting and with diarrhoea and a fever that came and went.

"I got home and lay on the couch for a month feeling the worst I've ever been in my whole life. I was sharing a flat with a couple and I was on my own all day while they were out at work. I had the sweats and no appetite at all and probably lost about 10kg in weight."

Initially, Dominic thought it was a case of food poisoning. "I was prescribed antibiotics by my GP, but I couldn't hold down anything I swallowed, including the tablets. It was quite frightening, but I was just too ill to do anything about it. I finally went to a hospital casualty department and they took a stool sample. I had to wait for three or four days for the result. When I was diagnosed with typhoid, I was really shocked."

Once Dominic was put on antibiotics, the typhoid cleared up and he didn't have to spend time in hospital. 

"Because I'd already travelled to India several times, I didn't think about typhoid. I knew I was travelling in areas where typhoid is a risk for tourists, but for some reason I assumed I would be safe. I haven't been back to India, so haven't organised a vaccination yet. I feel lucky to have survived without long-term problems." 

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