FRISCO, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – Health officials are giving a warning to parents after an exposure of typhoid fever at Talley Elementary School in Frisco this week. Officials also confirmed a case from a worker at a restaurant in McKinney.
The health department has not commented on whether the two cases are connected.
On Friday, the Collin County Health Services confirmed a case of typhoid fever from a food service worker at Hat Creek Burger Co. at 3321 S. Custer Road. They said anyone who ate there between Aug. 19 and Aug. 22 may be at risk.
Officials said the illness is spread by bacteria going into the mouth and is usually acquired from international travel.
“It’s poor hygiene. It’s transmitted through feces, so we do think about it more commonly in developing countries… that’s where it’s a big problem,” explained Dr. Stephen Titus, MD,FAAFP/Baylor Scott & White Centennial.
Symptoms include high fever, stomach pains, diarrhea, loss of appetite and sometimes a rash. Officials said they usually appear a week or two after exposure.
“If you travel or if you have family members who live overseas, you travel to South Asia, you travel to Latin America, it’s a good reminder that you should check with your health care provider and get those necessary immunizations before you go, because typhoid is preventable,” said Dr. Titus.
Officials at Talley Elementary said they will start taking extra measures to ensure a clean and disinfected environment such as wiping down all desks and tables and thoroughly cleaning restrooms and cafeterias.
“Frisco ISD and Talley Elementary take all health concerns seriously when the impact to educating our students in a healthy environment may be at risk,” Principal Jamie Peden said in a letter to parents.
Health officials recommend that people wash their hands thoroughly as a way to prevent the spread of typhoid fever.
“I think if you’re concerned or have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to your doctor. I don’t think you need to be super worried or super scared, but I think the most important thing is, if you have a question, ask us, that’s why we’re here,” said Dr. Titus, who reminds the disease can be fatal if untreated; but, it is treatable with antibiotics.