Health officials investigate after typhoid fever found at Purdue University

Food handler tests positive for illness

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Health officials are investigating after a food handler at Purdue University tested positive for typhoid fever.

Officials said anyone who ate at the Boiler Bistro, John Purdue Room or Lavazza from Jan. 23 to Jan. 25 could be at risk of contracting the illness.

The Purdue Student Health Center saw one person who had possible relevant symptoms Wednesday.

The symptoms were relatively mild, but to be certain, the doctor offered to conduct lab tests because the individual had eaten at Marriot Hall on the three days in question.

The Indiana Department of Health reported that emergency rooms in Tippecanoe County had experienced no increase in visits with gastric complaints.

Typhoid fever, a life-threatening sickness, is spread through consuming food and drink that has been handled by someone who has typhoid fever.

Symptoms of typhoid fever include a high fever, weakness, stomach pains, headache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or a loss of appetite, and they usually begin eight to 14 days following exposure.

A rash of flat, rose-colored spots occurs in some cases of typhoid fever.

Health officials are urging anyone who might have been infected to see a doctor.

“Unfortunately, symptoms of typhoid fever can resemble other illnesses, so for those individuals who may have been exposed, it’s critical to see health care provider right away if you begin to experience symptoms,” said State Health Commissioner William VanNess II. “Be sure to tell your physician that you may have been exposed to typhoid fever.”

Typhoid fever is diagnosed by testing blood or the stool for Salmonella Typhi bacteria.

If left untreated, typhoid fever can be fatal.

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