Typhoid Wes-y

It’s a lame post title, but a serious topic, and I’m not entirely clear on why the health center has not sent out a campus-wide bulletin.

The information is this: a Wesleyan student who would probably rather remain anonymous returned to her home in Mexico, finding not long afterwards that the sickness she had been suffering through was not, in fact, a routine bug but Typhoid Fever. Although the Health Center is claiming that said student probably caught the disease while home in Mexico, where it is more common, the student’s mother is fairly sure she contracted it while still in the states. In Middletown.

In a January 13 post to the parent listserv, the student’s mother explained,

“Our daughter has been ill for the past week. Initially we thought she had the scourge of sinusitis, cough, headache and general malaise that many locals are experiencing.

A battery of blood tests on Thursday however revealed the culprit..typhoid.

She is receiving the appropriate treatment and is expected to feel better in another 3-5 days…Persons with typhoid fever usually have a sustained fever as high as 103° to 104° F (39° to 40° C). They may also feel weak, or have stomach pains, headache, or loss of appetite. In some cases, patients have a rash of flat, rose-colored spots. The only way to know for sure if an illness is typhoid fever is to have samples of stool or blood tested for the presence of S. Typhi .

It is recognized by the sudden onset of sustained fever, severe headache, nausea and severe loss of appetite. It is sometimes accompanied by hoarse cough and constipation or diarrhea.”

The parent went on to advise students who have been feeling under the weather but unable to figure out why to get tested immediately, but emphasized that the disease can only be transferred from oral contact with food/water contaminated with fecal matter or the fecal matter itself (i.e. someone not washing hir hands.)

So basically: cause for alarm and not panic, but I thought that Wes community shouldn’t be quite so in the dark on this. Just your friendly neighborhood Wesleying, keeping y’all informed.

Xue adds: Somewhat related: Giant Microbes sells a Typhoid stuffed toy.