Cook tests POSITIVE for Typhoid Fever!


Bayside Chili’s Workers Tested For Bacterial Infection

 The Miami Dade Health Department launched an investigation after a cook at the Chili’s in Bayside tested positive for typhoid fever.  

According to the health department, 85 employees who work at the restaurant are being tested for the bacterial infection.   In addition, the department put out an alert to area doctors and practitioners, asking them to report anyone who may exhibit symptoms. These include fever, weight loss, diarrhea or constipation.   

 Local 10 has learned the cook was working in the restaurant’s kitchen when he became weak and disoriented. Investigators said when he told Chili’s management, they immediately sent him for medical attention.  A co-worker, who did not want to be identified, said the cook had been feeling bad for days. Cases of typhoid fever are rare. On average, only three cases are reported in all of Miami-Dade County each year.  “We have established he was working at the time he was contagious,” said Dr. Vincent Conte of the Florida Department of Health.  Health officials told Local 10’s Jeff Weinsier that since they only have one conformed case, at this point they are not considering an outbreak.  However, many of those infected may have no symptoms at all, but are still capable of infecting others.  Health officials said typhoid fever is usually brought in from other countries.  “Someone goes to the bathroom and they don’t wash their hands adequately. Then they process food. The food gets ingested by someone else and the cycle continues,” Conte said.  Even though samples from co-workers haven’t come back, the restaurant on the second floor of the popular downtown complex remains open.  “I’m comfortable at this point and time with the restaurant being opened,” Conte said. “If we had additional cases, we’d have to take further steps with the restaurant.”  At this point, health department officials said no customers have reported being ill.  Their concern is that Bayside is a large tourist destination, and many people who have eaten at the restaurant may have left town.  Local 10 has also learned the cook in question left the country to seek treatment elsewhere. He cannot come back to work until he is cleared by the state, which means three consecutive negative stool samples.Test results for the restaurant’s other employees may be back by the end of the week.   

Typhoid fever can be treated with antibiotics.   

In the late 19th century, typhoid fever mortality rate in Chicago averaged 65 per 100,000 people a year. The worst year was 1891, when the death rate was 174 per 100,000 people.   

The most notorious carrier of typhoid fever – but by no means the most destructive – was also known as Typhoid Mary, a cook at a New York restaurant. In 1907, she became the first American carrier to be identified and traced. She was associated with 53 cases and three deaths.   

Public health authorities told Mary to give up working as a cook or have her gall bladder removed. Mary quit her job, but later returned under a false name . She was detained after another typhoid outbreak. After 26 years in quarantine, she died of pneumonia.   

In 1897, Almroth Edward Wright developed an effective vaccine. In 1909, Frederick F. Russell, a United States. Army physician, developed an American typhoid vaccine. Two years later, Russell’s vaccination program became the first in which an entire army was immunized. It eliminated typhoid as a significant cause of morbidity and mortality in the U.S. military.   

Most developed countries saw declining rates of typhoid fever throughout the first half of the 20th century thanks to vaccinations and advances in public sanitation and hygiene.     

Antibiotics were introduced in clinical practice in 1942, greatly reducing mortality. Today, incidence of typhoid fever in developed countries is around 5 cases per 1,000,000 people per year.   

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