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How is typhoid spread?

Page last updated 10 July 2018

An infected person has the bacteria in their faeces and occasionally in their urine. Due to poor hygiene (hand-washing practices), the infected person may spread the bacteria from their hands to surfaces and objects that may then come into contact with food or be touched by other people.

Contamination can also occur when changing the nappy of a child with the infection. Water sources that are contaminated with infected faeces are another common way that the infection is transmitted.

Without treatment, about 1 in 20 people who recover from typhoid fever becomes an ongoing ‘carrier’ of the bacterium. Despite having no symptoms of the illness, they have bacteria in their faeces and urine, which can go on to infect others for a period of about three months (sometimes up to one year).


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Sources & Citations

  1. Victoria State Government. Better Health Channel. Typhoid and paratyphoid. Available at: (accessed 15 April 2018).
  2. New South Wales Government Health. Typhoid and paratyphoid fact sheet. Available at: (accessed 15 April 2018).

SPANZ.SAPAS.18.04.0143a - Date of preparation May 2018