We're planning a 12 month trip to Mexico and Central America, and my daughter will be 20 months old at the time. The minimum recommended age for the Typhoid Fever vaccine is 24 months.

I consulted a travel vaccination specialist in Sydney, Australia but she had no direct experience with Mexico, and could only refer to a generic map which puts the entire region of Mexico, Central America and South America as a high-risk category:

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The CDC Typhoid page says:

travelers to the developing world should consider taking precautions. Travelers to ... Latin America are especially at risk

and specifically for Mexico:

You can get typhoid through contaminated food or water in Mexico. CDC recommends this vaccine for most travelers, especially if you are staying with friends or relatives, visiting smaller cities or rural areas, or if you are an adventurous eater.

They mention that smaller cities pose a greater risk, presumably because they have poorer sanitation.

Would we reduce the risk of typhoid for our toddler if we stayed in a large, modern city such as Mexico City until she was old enough for the typhoid fever vaccine? Or is the typhoid risk too great for the entirety of Latin America, as implied in the first quote above?

  • The unpleasant factoid is that the bacteria that cause typhoid fever are spread by contact with infected human feces. You've looked at CDC, good idea; random strangers on the internet, not so much; read CHOP for how to avoid/prevent, and, best, ask your child's pediatrician.
    – Giorgio
    Aug 25 '17 at 1:09
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic; although travel related, it's asking for medical advice, risk assessment for a child.
    – Giorgio
    Aug 25 '17 at 1:13
  • I'm not hoping for random strangers' advice, but perhaps a medical professional who has experience with Mexico City Aug 25 '17 at 1:15
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    If you do go ahead you may be interested in this post from the Spanish SE site on what the term for safe drinking water is spanish.stackexchange.com/questions/21835/… the question and answers are in English.
    – mdewey
    Aug 25 '17 at 11:54
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    I have an opinion but I am reluctant to give it as you are discussing the risk for a young child - really this needs to come from a medical professional (before we moved to Mexico we consulted with a specialist travel doctor). And as an aside, Mexico is North America - they don't like it when you include Mexico as part of Central or South America
    – Midavalo
    Aug 25 '17 at 14:23

Depending on your location and conduct, Enteric-type fevers can range in incidence from about 1 in a 1000 to about 1 in 100,000 visits. The disease is spread by fecal contamination from an infected human. You can get it if you eat food prepared by an infected person.

If you eat food that only you prepare your chance of being exposed to the bacteria is close to zero. If you eat food in high-quality restaurants, the chances of infection might increase to about 1 in 100,000. If you eat food in cheap, rural or unhygenic places then your chance of infection might be 1 in 10,000 or even greater.

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