Vaccine shows a ray of hope against typhoid.

Typhoid fever has been a serious health issue in the developing countries. Some 22 million people are been victims of this disease every year. Between 200,000 to 600,000 die annually of the disease.

Recently in slums of India, a typhoid vaccine has been found to be effective. The vaccine not only prevent infection in children who received it but also to those who are in close contact and not vaccinated.

According to research, the vaccine is 80 percent effective in preventing the disease among children ages 2-5. The vaccine also offer 44 percent protection to the people who are in close contact with the immunized children.

Typhoid which is common in children is generally spread through contaminated food and water or close contact with an affected individual.The main symptoms of this disease are high fever, weakness and stomach pains.

Antibiotics are always been used for the treatment of typhoid fever, but with the emergence of drug- resistant strain it has made harder to treat the disease. Vaccines are also available but it is not widely used in public health programs as there has been an uncertainty about its effectiveness in young children.

Regarding this issue, a study was conducted by researchers in Kolkata, India where they allocated 37,673 slum- dwellers aged 2 years or older for the study. In this the participants were randomly given a dose of the typhoid vaccine and were followed for 2 years.

The overall results that came out of the study was that the vaccine was 61 percent effective. Protection was higher – 80 percent- among immunized young children.

The results were published in Thursday’s New England Journal of Medicine. The study was funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and coordinated by the Seoul-based International Vaccine Institute.

Source – AP

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