San Francisco public health authorities confirmed last Friday that a café worker must have spread typhoid fever between April 16, 17, 18, 20 or 27 when he was diagnosed with a bacterial infection. Therefore, anyone who ate at Nordstrom Café at Stonestown Galleria Mall in San Francisco between those periods will be at risk of becoming ill. However, it is still unknown how many people have been infected.
Typhoid bacterial infection can be caused by salmonella enterica serotype Typhi bacterium, which is very rare in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that typhoid fever was life-threatening with about 5,700 cases annually. Symptoms of the illness according to the SF State’s Student Health Center include weakness, fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, stomach pains, and diarrhea. And in other cases, it could cause flat rose-colored skin spots.
The worker must have contracted it when he was traveling outside the U.S. Individuals with typhoid fever carry the bacteria in their intestinal tracks and blood streams. However, a small number of individuals called carriers may recover yet continue to carry the infection.
The symptoms will normally appear from 14 to 30 days of exposure. You can be infected when you ingest water or food that has been contaminated by an infected person. So, if you suspect that you have been exposed, you must be aware of the symptoms now and should do something to contain the spread of the disease. While death is uncommon with treatment, you must see the doctor instantly once you feel ill.
While the likelihood of exposure is very low, it is better to be safe given the number of people exposed. According to Public Health Department acting health officer Dr. Naveena Bobba, people who were exposed then should already show symptoms.
It is still unclear how many people dined at Nordstrom Café around those dates, but employees were already informed about the case on Friday. Kara Darrow, Nordstrom’s spokesman said they are looking through their customer’s credit card records, so they can offer free typhoid testing to those who might have been exposed.
Free testing is also available in The Franciscan Treatment Room, 1199 Bush Street #160, (415) 353-6305 and Dr. Meenakshi Jain, Sutter Pacific Medical Foundation, 595 Buckingham Way, Suite 515, (415)-731-6300.
Treatment can be done with antibiotics, and you will recover fully. However, the illness could last for months, and it can be deadly. In fact, 20% of patients will die if they don’t receive medical attention. If you were diagnosed with typhoid fever, you should not prepare food and beverages for other people. Avoid contact with children, anyone with immune deficiencies, and hospitalized patients.