According to Eric Aakko, Public Information Officer for the Weld County Department of Public Health and Environment (WCDPHE) in Colorado, three cases of typhoid fever (Salmonella typhi ) have been identified in patrons of the Qdoba Mexican restaurant in Firestone, Colorado, since August. Aakko stated that the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) has traced the three illnesses to an infected food handler at Qdoba. Two of the victims of the Qdoba Salmonella Typhi Outbreak were hospitalized. There have been no new cases since October of this year.
The infected employee is no longer working at Qdoba, is not symptomatic, and is receiving appropriate medical attention. The other employees, including those currently working there and recent past employees, are being screened to prevent a further outbreak. According to Dr. Mark E. Wallace, Executive Director of WCDPHE, “typhoid fever is very rare. The good news is the illness is treatable with antibiotics. Simply having eaten at the restaurant is not a reason to see your health care provider. Only those currently exhibiting symptoms should contact their health care provider.” Dr. Wallace listed the following as the symptoms to be on the look-out for:
1. sustained fever as high as 103° to 104° F
2. weakness and fatigue
3. stomach or abdominal pain
5. loss of appetite
6. a rash with flat, rose-colored spots
The diagnosis of typhoid fever requires a stool or blood culture done to screen for the presence of Salmonella typhi. So far, this outbreak seems contained, but the CDPHE nonetheless issued a statewide notice to health care professionals that typhoid fever, or Salmonella typhi, have been identified in the region.
Every year in the U.S., there are approximately 6000 cases of typhoid fever, with a large majority contracting the disease while travelling abroad. For more information, contact the Salmonella Claim Center at 1-888-335-4901.