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NSW Public Health Bulletin archive

Typhoid fever, NSW, 2005–2011 Volume 24 Issue 2

Praveena Gunaratnam, Sean Tobin, Holly Seale, Jennie Musto

NSW Public Health Bulletin 24(2) 87-91 Published: 7 November 2013

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About the author/s

Praveena Gunaratnam | NSW Public Health Officer Training Program, NSW Ministry of Health, School of Community and Public Health Medicine, The University of New South Wales

Sean Tobin | Health Protection NSW

Holly Seale | School of Community and Public Health Medicine, The University of New South Wales

Jennie Musto | Health Protection NSW

Corresponding author

Praveena Gunaratnam | [email protected]


Aim: To examine trends in the incidence of typhoid fever in NSW to inform the development of prevention strategies. Methods: Typhoid fever case notification data for the period 2005–2011 were extracted from the NSW Notifiable Conditions Information Management System. Population incidence rates were calculated and analysed by demographic variables. Results: There were 250 case notifications of typhoid fever in NSW from 2005 to 2011, of which 240 are likely to have been acquired overseas. Case notifications remained relatively stable over the review period with the highest rates in Western Sydney Local Health District (10.9 per 100000 population). Two-thirds (66.4%) of all case notifications are likely to have been acquired in South Asia, and about half of overseas-acquired case notifications were most likely to have been associated with travel to visit friends and relatives. Hospitalisation was required for 79.6% of cases where hospitalisation status was known. Prior typhoid vaccination was reported in 7% of cases in 2010 and 2011 where vaccination status was known. Conclusion: While typhoid fever rates remain low in NSW, case notifications of this preventable infection continue to be reported, particularly in travellers visiting friends and relatives in South Asia. Further research to better understand barriers to the use of preventive measures may be useful in targeting typhoid fever prevention messages in high-risk groups, particularly South Asian communities in NSW.