Purdue U. reports typhoid fever case

Feb. 6, 2013 at 3:34 PM

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind., Feb. 6 (UPI) -- Indiana state health officials are urging caution after a food handler at Purdue University tested positive for typhoid fever.

Anyone who ate at the Boiler Bistro, the John Purdue Room or Marriott Hall's Lavazza coffee shop on the West Lafayette, Ind., campus Jan. 23-25 may be at risk of the life-threatening illness caused by a type of salmonella bacteria, the State Department of Health said Tuesday.

"Symptoms of typhoid fever can resemble other illnesses, so for those individuals who have been exposed, it's critical to see a health provider right away if you experience symptoms. Be sure to tell your physician you may have been exposed to typhoid fever," Health Commissioner William Van Ness II said.

The symptoms include a high fever, stomach pains, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite and, in some cases, rose-colored spots on the skin, state and university health officials said.

"We are trying to reach out to anyone who was a patron at Marriott Hall and let them know," school spokeswoman Jeanne Norberg said, adding the person with the illness contracted it while traveling outside the United States.

The unnamed person in question will not return to work until cleared by the state Health Department, the Lafayette Journal & Courier reported Wednesday.

The infected food handler wore gloves during food preparation and had minimal contact with the food, said Richard Ghiselli, head of the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, housed in Marriott Hall.

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