Epidemiology and Control of an Outbreak of Typhoid in a Psychiatric Institution

Epidemiol Infect. 1992 Apr;108(2):221-9. doi: 10.1017/s0950268800049700.


An outbreak of typhoid caused by Salmonella typhi of the same Vi-phage type (D1) and of the same antibiogram was reported in a large psychiatric institution in Singapore. A total of 95 (4.8%) of the 1965 inmates were infected, 47 with symptoms and 48 asymptomatic. Transmission was through close person-to-person contact and not through contaminated food or water. The source of infection could not be established. The outbreak was brought under control by maintaining a high standard of environmental sanitation, active search for fever and diarrhoeal cases, identification of asymptomatic cases by rectal swabbing, and isolation of those found to be infected. Mass immunization with two doses of heat-phenol inactivated typhoid vaccine was also carried out concurrently. The vaccine was found to have an efficacy of 65.8% in preventing clinical illness.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Carrier State
  • Cross Infection / prevention & control*
  • Cross Infection / transmission
  • Disease Outbreaks / prevention & control*
  • Female
  • Hospitals, Psychiatric
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Rectum / microbiology
  • Salmonella typhi / isolation & purification
  • Singapore / epidemiology
  • Typhoid Fever / epidemiology
  • Typhoid Fever / prevention & control*
  • Typhoid Fever / transmission
  • Typhoid-Paratyphoid Vaccines


  • Typhoid-Paratyphoid Vaccines